David Paterson Sneaks Gay Marriage in Through the Back Door

Paterson
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Governor David Paterson has long been a supporter of gay marriage, but with state Republicans sitting on a bill about the issue, his hands have been pretty much tied since he took over in Albany. So when California legalized gay marriage for nonresidents, he seized his chance. It was revealed yesterday that the day before the California court handed down their decision, Paterson had sent a memo to state agencies saying that same-sex unions from out of state “should be afforded the same recognition as any other legally performed union.” The Times reports that this could affect up to 1,300 relevant regulations and statutes, making New York the only state where same-sex unions are recognized but not performed.

Opponents to gay marriage called foul on the move, saying it was "circumventing the Legislature" (because it's fine that the Legislature circumvented itself by avoiding a vote on Eliot Spitzer's same-sex union bill). But supporters rejoiced. When California begins handing out marriage licenses to gay couples on June 17, activists anticipate New York couples will start heading out there to get hitched and take advantage of their new rights back at home. Which, let's be honest, is something we can all get behind. Everybody likes a destination wedding in sunny California. If you get married here in the city, people just double-book your wedding night! ("What are you doing tonight?" "Oh, I'm going to Jon and Jon's wedding, and then I'm going to the Penthouse Executive Club.") That's no fun at all. If people are going to your wedding, they've got to commit. Which is what weddings are all about, anyway!

Wait, what were we talking about, again?

New York to Back Same-Sex Unions From Elsewhere [NYT]
Related: California Bliss: Why an L.A. same-sex marriage will matter in New York