Lambda Legal defends recognition of out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples as court dismisses challenge brought by anti-gay Alliance Defense Fund.
The New York Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit against Governor David A. Paterson that challenged his directive that state agencies respect out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples.
The court granted Lambda Legal’s motion to intervene in the case on behalf of Peri Rainbow and Tamela Sloan, longtime public employees who are raising a special needs child adopted from foster care. The couple, like others in the state, depends on the protections that come from respect for their marriage.
In May, Governor Paterson instructed all state agencies to revise policies and regulations to recognize marriages of same-sex couples performed in other countries or in states like Massachusetts and California. The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) and a few taxpayers challenged the directive, arguing that the policy change was unconstitutional and an illegal expenditure of State funds. Attorney General Cuomo responded on the Governor’s behalf with a motion to dismiss the case.
According to Justice Lucy Billings’ opinion, “…the Governor’s Directive is another permissible, if not mandated, step toward the objective of equality for a group for whom legal as well as practical barriers to equality persist.”