Judge rules against "Ithaca 50"
February 25 2005 1:00 AM ET
A New York state judge ruled against a group of same-sex couples seeking the right to wed, saying it was a job for lawmakers, not the courts, to extend marriage rights.
The 25 couples applied for marriage licenses in Ithaca early last year and were turned down by the city clerk, who was following a state advisory not to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The so-called Ithaca 50 sued the city and the state in June, one of a series of similar suits filed around the state after gay marriage became a front-burner issue last year.
The 25 couples learned Wednesday that state supreme court judge Robert C. Mulvey had rejected their arguments, upholding the state's position. "Social perceptions of same-sex civil contracts may change over time, and every group has the right to persuade its fellow citizens that its view of such matters is the best," Mulvey wrote. "If that day comes, it is within the province of the legislature to so act."
A lawyer for the couples promised an appeal.
Gay couples have lost a few cases so far at the trial level. But earlier this month, a judge in Manhattan ruled that the state's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional and that the city clerk may not deny a marriage license solely because a couple are of the same sex. That case also is being appealed. (AP)