N.Y. high court to hear 'gay marriage' case in May; 3 states could redefine marriage in '06
ALBANY, N.Y. (BP)--The highest court in New York state will hear oral arguments May 31 in a case that could result in the legalization of "gay marriage" there.
Homosexual activists previously lost twice at the appellate level. But the Court of Appeals -- the state's highest court -- will make the final decision on the legality of "gay marriage" in the state.
Unlike a growing number of states, New York has not passed a constitutional amendment protecting the traditional definition of marriage. An amendment would prevent the court from legalizing "gay marriage," although such an amendment faces an uphill climb in the left-leaning legislature.
News about the hearing before the state high court adds to what could be a banner year for homosexual activists. Washington state's highest court is expected to issue a "gay marriage" ruling any day now. New Jersey's highest court heard a "gay marriage" case in February.
It is possible that by the end of 2006, four states will have legalized "gay marriage." Massachusetts began granting marriage licenses to homosexual couples in 2004 following a ruling by that state's highest court.
Homosexual activists lost in New York on the appellate level in 5-0 and 4-1 decisions. In both instances, the courts said the issue of "gay marriage" belonged in the legislature, and not the judiciary. Attorneys for homosexual couples are asking the high court to strike down the state's law that limits marriage to heterosexuals.
"The legislature acted consistent with its constitutional role, and the parameters that it placed on marriage are undergirded by sufficient governmental interests to uphold marriage as historically understood and defined," Justice John A. Lahtinen wrote in a Feb. 16 decision. "In our opinion, the legislature is where changes to marriage of the nature urged by plaintiffs should be addressed."
For more information about the national debate over "gay marriage," visit http://www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage