Tuesday, March 16, 2004

2 ministers charged in gay marriages

As reported in the Boston Globe and elsewehere, Ulster County (NY) DA Donald Williams has filed criminal charges against two Unitarian-Universalist ministers who have performed same-sex marriages in New Paltz. The DA's office explained that the basis of the charges was that the ministers "proclaimed their intent to perform civil marriages under the authority vested in them by New York state law, rather than performing purely religious ceremonies." This is so completely bogus. The ministers were not claiming authority they didn't have (i.e., authority to perform marriages). There was no fraud. The "illegality" of their conduct arises out of a contested interpretation of the state's constitution. And the answer is: arrest the miscreants before they bless another same-sex couple! Local clergy - of all faiths - announced their intention to continue to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, regardless of the risk of criminal prosecution.
posted by Tom Mayo, 1:23 PM

Health care law (including public health law, medical ethics, and life sciences), with digressions into constitutional law, poetry, and other things that matter