New York state Governor Eliot Spitzer proposes legalization of same-sex marriages

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Eliot Spitzer at a news conference in Schenectady, New York on April 24, 2007.

The Governor of the state of New York, Eliot Spitzer, is proposing a bill that would make same-sex marriages legal in the state.

"This legislation would create equal legal protection and responsibilities for all individuals who seek to marry or have their marriage protected in the state of New York. Strong, stable families are the cornerstones of our society. The responsibilities inherent in the institution of marriage benefit those individuals and society as a whole," said Spitzer in a statement he issued to the press.

Although Spitzer said that the time to propose the bill "is right," he doubts that it will pass the state legislature.

"I do not think there is a realistic shot that it gets passed, but I will submit it because it's a statement of principle that I believe in and I want to begin that dynamic," added Spitzer.

The bill states that it would "establish equal responsibilities, recognition, benefits and protections for all married couples [and] would additionally stipulate that no clergy member or religious institution should be compelled to perform any same-sex marriage ceremony."

Currently, same-sex marriages are only legal in the state of Massachusetts. Civil unions, are only legal in Connecticut, New Jersey and Vermont and domestic partnerships are currently only legal in the states of California, Maine and Washington. In New York City and Washington D.C., domestic partnerships are also legal.