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New York court:
No to same-sex marriage

New York court:
No to same-sex marriage


In reversing a decision that declared New York's gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to marry, an appellate court chastises a lower court for siding with five same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses.

Efforts to assert marriage equality in New York hit a major bump in the road on Thursday when the state's appellate court reversed a lower-court decision, which said denying gay couples marriage was unconstitutional. In a 4-1 ruling the state appellate division overturned the February ruling of judge Doris Ling-Cohan and chastised her decision.

"We find it even more troubling that the court, upon determining the statute to be unconstitutional, proceeded to rewrite it and purportedly create a new constitutional right," the four majority justices said. The one dissenting judge declared that denying marriage to New York's gay couples "is contrary to the basic principles underlying our constitution, our legal system, and our concepts of liberty and justice, and perpetuates a deeply ingrained form of legalized discrimination."

Michael Bloomberg, New York City's Republican mayor, was responsible for handing the case to the appellate court after he appealed Ling-Cohan's decision.

The case was brought by five Manhattan same-sex couples seeking marriage rights. Susan Sommer of the gay rights group Lambda Legal, who represented the five couples, expressed disappointment at the case's early defeat. "While we believe the trial court got it right, we anticipated that this case would be heard before the state's high court," Sommer said.

The case, Hernandez v. Robles, is one of three currently working their way up the legal system to New York's highest state court. (

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