ACLU to file gay marriage lawsuit
April 06 2004 11:00 PM ET
The American Civil Liberties Union said it will sue New York State on behalf of same-sex couples denied the right to marry.
The group said it will file a lawsuit in Albany on Wednesday against the state health department on behalf of at least 12 gay couples. The complaint claims state health regulations defining marriage as between a man and a woman violate protections granted under the state constitution, said the ACLU's Paul Cates. "We're saying that it is illegal for the state to discriminate against same-sex couples based on marriage," he said.
There have been at least two other civil lawsuits recently filed in state courts arguing for the rights of gay couples to wed. There also are criminal cases in Ulster County involving New Paltz mayor Jason West and two Unitarian ministers. They face misdemeanor charges for officiating at weddings for couples who lacked licenses. The ACLU and the litigating couples will hold a news conference Wednesday in New York City.