Relaymedia

NY Judge Orders Mayor Not to Perform Same-sex Marriages

( [email protected] ) Mar 05, 2004 06:38 PM EST

ALBANY, N.Y. – Friday, a New York state judge, Vincent Bradley, barred the defiant New Paltz mayor Jason West from performing more same-sex marriages for about a month saying he ignored the oath of office.

"The mayor in substance ignores the oath of office that he took to uphold the law," Bradley said.

New Paltz village trustee Robert Hebel filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court in Ulster County seeking a temporary restraining order to keep West from performing any more gay marriages. Conservative Florida-based Liberty Counsel formally filed the suits on behalf of Hebel.

"Mayor West has indicated he knows he's breaking the law. He thinks it's funny. We don't," said Matthew Staver, a lawyer with Liberty Counsel.

West performed 25 same-sex marriages a week ago and he said earlier today that he would perform same-sex marriages for the second time Saturday, only delaying it for a week aftering consulting with state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

Meanwhile in San Francisco, lawyers planned today to answer efforts by California’s attorney general and gay marriage opponents to invalidate same-sex marriages that were performed last month at San Francisco City Hall, but they deffered to make an immediate decision.

Last week, California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, along with some opponents, requested the state Supreme Court to immediately stop the city from issuing marriage licenses and invalidate thousands of same-sex marriges that were performed.

Instead of granting the appeal immediately, the court asked all sides - Lockyer and San Francisco, to file a brief in the case by Friday, outlining their arguments as to why the marriage should continue or why it must be barred.

San Francisco asserted asking Supreme Court to stop from intervening but instead allow the two sides to go to on trial.

"This is to inform you that the California Supreme Court is not expected to take any action today on the two same-sex marriage cases that were filed in the court last week," spokeswoman Lynn Holton said. She added that the earliest the court "would decide something would be next week."

The court has set to meet on March 17 to decide on the case.