Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Daily Politics - NY Daily News

The Daily Politics - NY Daily News

Cuomo Supports Gay Marriage, Waiting To See On Lawsuit (Clarified)
AG Andrew Cuomo's office submitted a brief in an upstate lawsuit, Martinez v. County of Monroe that triggered Gov. David Paterson's order that the state recognize same-sex marriages, but a Cuomo spokesman said the AG has yet to take a position on the legal challenge to the order that was filed in state Supreme Court today.

Asked for his opinion on Paterson's directive and whether he will defend any legal challenges to it, Cuomo cited the Martinez case and also pointed out he personally supports the legalization of gay marriage.

"If the Legislature has a strong opinion and they disagree with the governor, they have an option to pass a piece of legislation" in this case, Cuomo told DN Capitol Bureau Chief Ken Lovett.

Cuomo spokesman John Milgrim said the AG has not yet seen the Article 78 case filed today by the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, state Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long and a number of GOP state lawmakers. Cuomo will make a decision on how to proceed with the case after studying it, Milgrim said.

If the AG decides to take the case, it would pit him against Republican state lawmakers with whom he has forged a good working relationship.

Past AGs - including Eliot Spitzer, in the case of a legal battle between Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and then-Gov. George Pataki over budgeting power, for example - have opted out of lawsuits that pit one branch of government against another, forcing officials to rely on outside counsel at the taxpayers' expense.

Spitzer, who personally supported gay marriage and made good on a campaign pledge by introduce legislation to legalize it after he was elected governor, angered some same-sex marriage advocates who he refused to recuse himself from representing then-Gov. George Pataki before the state's highest court in a case where judges upheld the "one-man, one-woman" definition of marriage.

A law barring all recognition of same-sex marriage in New York is unlikely given the Democrat-controlled Assembly passed a bill last year to legalize the practice in New York, and, as we all know, it takes two houses to tango in Albany.

NOTE: This item has been re-written to reflect clarification provided by the AG's office

No comments: