The New York Legal Blog Round Up
Why not err on the side of caution?

Maggie Brooks--Have You Been Reading My Column?

Maggie I suspect that she has--or at least someone at the County Law Department read my recent article: It all Depends on How You Define Marriage.

As reported in this Democrat and Chronicle article, the County intends to appeal the Martinez decision, in which the Fourth Department held that valid marriages of same-sex couples performed in other jurisdictions must be recognized in New York.

From the D & C article:

On Friday, Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks announced that the county would appeal the appellate court ruling to protect taxpayers. "We certainly cannot ignore the definition of marriage that currently exists under New York state law," she said in a statement...A county statement issued Friday states: "According to the New York state law, marriage is an institution that exists strictly between a man and a woman..."

And, this from a article:

On Friday, Monroe County's top political official, Republican executive Maggie Brooks, announced that the judges' clear "misinterpretation" of New York law must be challenged, and ..argued that "we're letting people in Ontario, Canada define marriage for people who live in New York State. I don't think that's appropriate."

And, finally, from my Daily Record article published on February 12, 2008:

From a philosophical standpoint, I agree wholeheartedly with the Fourth Department, just as I found the dissent’s argument in Hernandez to be far more palatable than the majority’s...Determination of the issues raised in Hernandez necessarily revolve around the definition of the term “marriage.” The concept is not defined in the Domestic Relations Law and, instead, has been refined through case law...As explained in Hernandez, “implicitly or explicitly, the Domestic Relations Law limits marriage to opposite-sex couples.” In New York, in other words, the term “marriage” is limited to a marriage contract entered into between a man and a woman. That another jurisdiction chooses to define marriage more broadly than New York may not require our state to expand its concept of marriage.

I hesitated prior to penning my column about the Martinez decision when I realized that my legal analysis potentially lead to a result that conflicted with my philosophical views.  However, I felt that the decision was too important to ignore.  And, I felt that to address the decision by either avoiding any legal analysis or to alter my legal analysis simply because I did not like where it lead would be disingenuous, at best.

So, write about it, I did.  And, perhaps I offered ammunition to the County.  Or, perhaps my humble article wasn't even on its radar.  I'll never know. 

But, I'm comfortable with my decision to write about the decision as I did.  And, isn't that what's important?

Hat tip: New York Legal Update.


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