Spitzer’s marriage stance

June 4, 2004

To the Editor:

Regarding Paul Schindler’s article “Spitzer Rebuts Gay Marriage Claims” (June 3-9), Matt Coles of the ACLU saw Mr. Spitzer’s response in his legal brief as a “a fine piece of work.”

It was a fine piece of work, but for whom? Certainly not for the LGBT community. Not being a lawyer, I am not attuned to the nuances of legal briefs, but it seemed to me that Spitzer took an about-face on this issue.

In his rebuttal, Spitzer stated the issues of same sex marriage would require a legislative remedy. This is in contradiction to his press release of March 3, 2004 in which he said, “Ultimately, these issues will be resolved in the courts, which have overriding authority to interpret and apply the law.”

In his rebuttal of our lawsuit, Spitzer also said that same-sex marriage was not a “fundamental right,” but rather an effort to broaden civil marriage in a way that creates a new right.

Spitzer did not deny the history of “discrimination” against the LGBT community and said his client, the New York State Department of Health, will not “dispute that the petitioners and their families are entitled to dignity and respect, that children raised in those families can thrive, and that same-sex couples can be committed, stable, loving and nurturing as opposite-sex couples.”

If all of this is true, what’s the issue? Why not marriage?

It is time for elected officials to acknowledge that there is no such thing as a little equality, or that one can have discrimination and still have equality.

I have supported Attorney General Spitzer and the good fight he has been waging for New Yorkers these past several years and I hope that he will fight the good fight for all New Yorkers, and understand that goal must be equality for all citizens without exception.

John Shields

Mayor of Nyack

The writer is one of the plaintiffs in the same-sex marriage lawsuit to which the Spitzer brief was responding.


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