Friday, February 27, 2004

Green Party Mayor of New York Town Follows Newsome's Lead

Mayor of N.Y. Town Marries Gay Couples
By MICHAEL HILL, Associated Press Writer

NEW PALTZ, N.Y. - Twenty-one gay couples exchanged wedding vows on the steps of village hall Friday in a spirited ceremony that opened another front on the growing national debate over gay marriage.

As the ceremonies by 26-year-old Mayor Jason West were ending, the state Health Department asked the attorney general to seek an injunction "to prevent further illegal conduct by the mayor," a department spokesman said.

A call to Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's office was not immediately returned.

West, elected on the Green Party ticket last year in this village 75 miles north of New York City, joined Gavin Newsom of San Francisco as the country's only mayors to marry same-sex couples.

"What we're witnessing in America today is the flowering of the largest civil rights movement the country's had in a generation," West said.
Protestors were, of course, there -- but sheesh, do they have some uncreative and downright boring protestors there:
One protester stood outside the hall with a sign that read, in part, "It's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve."

"It's against nature," Angelo Da'Quaro said. "It's against religion, it's against all of that."

And, of course they have to ask NY's only openly gay mayor what he thinks (sigh. yawn.):
Plattsburgh Mayor Daniel Stewart _ New York state's first and only openly gay mayor _ said he will not perform same-sex marriages.

"I believe in changing the law, but I don't believe in breaking the law in order to change it," said Stewart, a Republican.
Dan Stewart's a great guy in person, and he's fun to hang out at the gay bar with, but politically, he's just boring. Oh, and unless he's changed his opinions since I lived there, he's not even for changing the law really (only in favor of Civil Unions, not gay marriage)

Friday, February 20, 2004

Chicago to follow San Francisco's lead?

Daley on gay marriage: 'no problem'

February 19, 2004

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter

Mayor Daley said Wednesday he would have "no problem" with County Clerk David Orr issuing marriage licenses to gay couples -- and Orr said he's open to a San Francisco-style protest if a consensus can be built.

"They're your doctors, your lawyers, your journalists, your politicians," the mayor said. "They're someone's son or daughter. They're someone's mother or father. . . . I've seen people of the same sex adopt children, have families. [They're] great parents.

"Some people have a difference of opinion -- that only a man and a woman can get married. But in the long run, we have to understand what they're saying. They love each other just as much as anyone else.''

A devout Catholic, Daley scoffed at the suggestion that gay marriage would somehow undermine the institution of marriage between a man and a woman.

"Marriage has been undermined by divorce, so don't tell me about marriage. You're not going to lecture me about marriage. People should look at their own life and look in their own mirror. Marriage has been undermined for a number of years if you look at the facts and figures on it. Don't blame the gay and lesbian, transgender and transsexual community. Please don't blame them for it," he said.

Daley said he has no control over marriage licenses in Cook County. But if Orr wants to take that bold step, the mayor has no problem with it.

Orr said he was "game to looking at options" provided a consensus could be built.

"I'm fed up with people being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. We can't even pass a law that eliminates discrimination against gay couples. [But] whatever you do when it comes to challenging laws, you want it to be effective and not knee-jerk," Orr said.

The clerk noted the protest that has gay couples from around the nation lining up for hours outside San Francisco's City Hall was meticulously planned.