Mayor in NY Charged for Performing Homosexual Marriages

Allie Martin & Jenni Parker | Agape Press | Thursday, March 4, 2004

Mayor in NY Charged for Performing Homosexual Marriages

A national public interest law firm has filed two separate lawsuits against the mayor of a small New York town in an effort to stop him from conducting illegal homosexual marriages.

Last month, Mayor Jason West of New Paltz, New York, announced he would solemnize marriages of same-sex couples, even though to do so is a violation of state law. He has remained defiant, despite the fact that he has been charged with 19 criminal counts of violating  New York's domestic-relations law, New York Newsday reported.

WorldNetDaily reports that only last week, the 26-year-old mayor conducted 25 same-sex weddings, put another 500 names on a waiting list, and planned to hold more ceremonies the following weekend. West now faces the possibility of up to $500 in fines and a year in jail for breaking state law by solemnizing the weddings without a valid marriage license. But he said he would plead innocent at his court hearing and will continue marrying homosexual couples.

West, a part-time public official and member of the Green Party, has told the media that the day he began solemnizing same-sex unions was the best day of his mayoral career. However, Liberty Counsel president Mat Staver says West may soon regret taking such action.

"Instead of being the most memorable day of his mayoral career, these in fact may be the last days of his political career," Staver says, "because we intend to stop this mayor. We intend to remove him from office."

Staver hopes to see two things come out of the legal action. "The first lawsuit is asking the court to immediately put a stop to this illegal solemnization of same-sex unions," he says, "and secondly, we've filed another action in a separate court to literally remove this mayor from office."

Liberty Counsel's president hopes the lawsuits will help put the word out to Mayor West and to other liberal officials around the U.S. who abuse their offices to push the homosexual agenda, that such actions will not be tolerated. "We intend to send a loud message to anyone else around the country that they must obey the law," Staver says.

CCF Spokesman: California Should Follow NY Law Enforcement's Example

Randy Thomasson of the Campaign for California Families is applauding the law enforcement authorities in New York for taking action against West. He says bringing charges against New Paltz's mayor sets an example that he would like to see the Attorney General of the State of California follow.

"Law enforcement officials in the State of New York apparently care more about their duty to enforce the law than California AG Bill Lockyer does," Thomasson says. "Why is a corrupt mayor in the State of New York charged, but the corrupt mayor in San Francisco gets no consequences for violating the law more than three-thousand times?"

At a March 3 press conference in Sacramento, Campaign for California Families called upon Lockyer to do his constitutional duty to enforce state law by charging San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and other city officials with 3,400 criminal counts of breaking the law for solemnizing homosexual marriages and issuing same-sex marriage licenses in violation of 10 California laws.

Thomasson says Lockyer has a duty -- not an option -- to prosecute San Francisco's mayor and his "accomplices" for their blatant violation. Moreover, the pro-family activist notes, the State AG has the policing authority to send in investigators to take over the City Clerk's office and put an immediate stop to the issuance of counterfeit marriage certificates.

Last month, after the State AG failed to take action against the San Francisco Mayor and his City and County Clerk, Nancy Alfaro, CCF filed a lawsuit against the two public officials in an effort to have their illegal activity shut down by the court.

After Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger publicly called upon Lockyer to intervene, the AG finally filed an action against the City with the California Supreme Court. However, his action, filed last Friday, did not mention CCF's prior suit.

Also, the AG's office posted a message on its website stating that Lockyer would defend the law, but that he opposes any law that “discriminates” and personally favors domestic partnerships and civil unions. Some at CCF feel that the AG is hiding behind the courts and question whether he will "vigorously defend" California laws stating that marriage is between a man and a woman.

"Lockyer should remember his oath of office to enforce the law, or else he may be recalled from office by angry voters," Thomasson says.

On March 1 Thomasson and CCF, represented by Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver, filed legal documents seeking to intervene in the action brought by the California AG at the State Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the case previously filed by Liberty Counsel on behalf of CCF is scheduled to be heard March 29.

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Liberty Counsel (http://www.lc.org)
Campaign for California Families (http://www.savecalifornia.com)

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