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February 4, 2005


New York State Supreme Court Justice Doris Ling-Cohan said today that the State Constitution does not forbid same-sex marriage. She has further ruled that marriage licenses must be given to same-sex partners who apply for them.

Catholic League president William Donohue disagrees:

“One year ago this month, I was in the Roosevelt Room in the White House listening to President Bush speak about many public policy issues. When the subject of same-sex marriage came up, he said he would support a constitutional amendment affirming the traditional understanding of marriageif it was necessary. After he spoke, several of the 13 Catholics present, including me, told his staff that the time had come—it was necessary now. A week later, President Bush endorsed the need for a constitutional amendment.

“What Judge Ling-Cohan did today will help enormously in the effort to secure a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman. The public is overwhelmingly against the bizarre idea of two men marrying: initiatives to legalize gay marriage lost in all 11 states that had this measure on the ballot in November. But what the public is reluctant to do is support a constitutional amendment as the right remedy. Their reluctance wanes, however, when they read about judges like Ling-Cohan. And that is why her decision will boomerang.

“Some are already declaring Judge Ling-Cohan’s decision ‘historic.’ It most certainly is. Not one New York State judge in history who has read the New York State Constitution has ever been able to find a passage in it that okays gay marriage. Until today. This would seem to suggest that either all the judges who preceded Ling-Cohan on the bench, as well as her colleagues today, are hopelessly incompetent, or she is another out-of-control judge who is reading into the law what her politics dictate.

“One thing is for sure: Her contribution to judicial imperialism will be duly noted by future historians.”

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