This is the beginning of a chapter in gay civil rights. For those opposed to the idea of gay marriage, keep in mind these are civil marriages not religious cermonys. We are seeking to have the same financial and legal benefits as straights and aside from religious prejudice there is no logical reason why these benefits should be denied adults seeking them. It is inevitable that same-sex marriage will be treated the same as hetro marriage. It is only a matter of time.
SUMMARY: Gay couples in New York state came closer to legalized marriage on Friday, as one mayor agreed to recognize licenses granted elsewhere, and another performed ceremonies himself.
Gay couples in New York state came two steps closer to legal recognition of their relationships on Friday. One mayor is recognizing legally granted marriage licenses for gay couples; another mayor is performing the marriage ceremonies himself.
John Shields, the mayor of Nyack, N.Y., made his town the first in the United States to recognize gay couple’s marriage licenses — be they from Canada or San Francisco or any other locale.
Taking critics head on, Mayor Shields said in a press release, “I don’t understand how extending marriage to same-gender couples undermines traditional marriage or weakens community.”
He added, “A powerful way to affirm traditional marriage is to have strong marriages between committed people. That is what the mayors of San Francisco and New Paltz are doing.”
The mayor of New Paltz, a village just 75 miles from New York City, became only the second mayor in the United States to directly help gay couples marry. Mayor Jason West, 26, married 21 same-sex couples on Friday.
The first couple to marry was Billiam Van Roestenberg and Jeffrey McGowan, from New York City. Hundreds of supporters and family members witnessed the nuptials, which were performed outside in the village hall parking lot. With only a few protestors in attendance, the supportive crowd cheered as the ceremony ended.
During the ceremony, Mayor West put the marriage in perspective: “What we’re witnessing in America today is the flowering of the largest rights movement the country’s had in a generation.”