Tuesday, October 13, 2009

High court hears same-sex marriage cases

The Court of Appeals hears from Brian Raum, senior counsel at Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund. Raum argued in Godfrey v. Spano that Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano violated state law in declaring the county would recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions.
Gazette photo by Doron Tyler Antrim.

The state Court of Appeals heard oral arguments today in two cases concerning same-sex marriage.

It heard a challenge to a 2006 executive order by Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano that recognized same-sex marriages performed in other states as well as Canada. It also heard a challenge in Lewis v. New York State Department of Civil Service to a 2007 DCS decision to extend health insurance benefits to same-sex spouses of state and local government workers.

Both cases were heard simultaneously. The Alliance Defense Fund of Scottsdale, AZ, were the plaintiffs in both cases.

This is the first time in three years that the state's highest court has reviewed the issue of same-sex marriage. In 2006, it ruled in Hernandez v. Robles that the state Constitution does not guarantee same-sex couples the right to marry.

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