Monday, September 12, 2005

Liberty Counsel Argues Same-Sex Marriage Case Today Before New York Appeals Court

Albany, NY - Today the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, will hear oral arguments regarding same-sex marriage. The case began last year when New Paltz Mayor Jason West sought to solemnize same-sex marriages. Representing Robert Hebel, a New Paltz Village Trustee, Liberty Counsel filed suit and obtained a court order stopping the mayor.

Following the example of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, New Paltz Mayor Jason West prepared his own form and sought to solemnize same-sex unions. Liberty Counsel filed suit, and Judge E. Michael Kavanagh issued an injunction stopping the mayor, noting that marriage in New York is between one man and one woman. Mayor West then appointed Rebecca Rotzler and Julia Walsh - two other Village Trustees - to solemnize same-sex "marriages." Liberty Counsel filed suit again and obtained another order blocking any Village official from violating the law. Liberty Counsel also requested that the court declare the illegal ceremonies void. Mayor West appealed the ruling, and this case is being heard today before the Appellate Division at 1:00 pm ET. Liberty Counsel Senior Litigation Counsel, Rena Lindevaldsen, will be presenting the oral argument.

Preserving marriage is the social battle for this generation. Our social stability hangs on the strength of families. To the extent we weaken marriage and family, we destabilize our communities and damage our children. Law breaking mayors have no right to undermine marriage. The people must decide this issue once and for all by passing state and federal constitutional amendments to protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

In the past 18 months, Liberty Counsel has defended almost 40 marriage cases throughout the country. Liberty Counsel is a national litigation, education and policy support organization defending religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the traditional family.