CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

NY Mayor Prosecuted for Attempting to Marry Gay Couples

From  "The village mayor who challenged New York law by attempting to marry gay couples last year will face trial, the state's highest court ruled Friday. New Paltz, N.Y., Mayor Jason West faces 24 misdemeanor counts of violating the state's domestic relations law by marrying couples without licenses in late February 2004. He faces fines and up to a year in jail if convicted. West's actions came amid a flurry of efforts in various states to wed gay couples after San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom allowed gay couples there to marry in February 2004. Those efforts have largely been put on hold by the courts. West has maintained he was upholding the gay couples' constitutional rights to equal protection -- and thus his oath of office -- by allowing them to wed in the Hudson Valley college town in late February 2004. But state officials, including Gov. George Pataki and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, have said same-sex ceremonies violate state law."  Story . . .  [Mark Godsey]

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