The New York Supreme Court will hear arguments from a Christian legal team Thursday to determine whether Gov. David Paterson overstepped his authority when he issued an executive order mandating that all state offices recognize out-of-state gay "marriages."
Alliance Defense Fund attorney Brian Raum will appear before the court on Thursday on behalf of N.Y. legislators and taxpayers.
"The governor should respect New York's marriage laws over the laws of foreign jurisdictions," said Raum. "Governor Paterson is overstepping his authority and the democratic process by issuing a directive at odds with New York public policy on marriage."
The state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, declared in 2006 that only marriage between a man and a woman is legal under the state's Constitution.
On May 14, however, Paterson declared that New York must recognize same-sex "marriages" performed in Massachusetts, Canada and other places where they are legal.
He issued the executive order directing state agencies to "ensure that terms such as 'spouse,' 'husband,' and 'wife' are construed in a manner that encompasses legal same-sex marriages."
According to the governor's office, the decision to recognize out-of-state gay unions are based on a ruling in a state lawsuit involving two community college employees who wed in Canada, where same-sex "marriage" is recognized. Appellate justices ruled to recognize foreign gay "marriages."
In court papers filed in June, ADF argued that several lawsuits on the same issue are undergoing litigation and a directive based on the one case is "unfounded and premature."
Any changes to New York marriage laws must come from the legislature and not the governor, according to the suit. Implementing the directive "will cause a wrongful expenditure of taxpayer funds in a state where same-sex 'marriage' is not legal."
The case is Golden v. Paterson.