Well, the county executive issued a press release announcing their intention to appeal the ruling. What this means is that, because it’s a “government agency,” there is now a “stay” on the February 1 ruling by the Appellate Court.
I like how she’s looking to protect the taxpayers — and that statement insinuates that the taxpayers in Monroe County don’t support equality.
And apparently Maggie Brooks AND her legal advisers are smarter than, and know more about the law than the five judges who unanimously decided that our marriage must be recognized.
So, our lawyer called us late this morning to tell us that he’d heard about this news release from the reporter who did our first television interview, Sean Carroll. Sean’s a good guy — interested in honest, professional reporting.
We no sooner hung up from our conversation with the lawyer when our doorbell rang. I looked out the window and saw a news truck from News 10 NBC. The bastards tracked us down somehow and there they were, unannounced, uninvited and NOW interested in doing a news report on Lisa and I — where were they two and a half weeks ago when everyone and their brother was clamoring for the interview?
I’ll tell you where they were — they were busy spinning the negative aspects of the decision. When the ruling first came out, they led off their news story with an interview from the “Glad Tidings Church,” pontificating about how the Bible says it’s a sin for people of the same gender to have sex with each other and how, “We don’t hate the homosexuals, we just don’t approve of what they do.” They didn’t do any real reporting on the issue, the ruling, or the people involved. But NOW they want photos and the story behind Pat and Lisa, ad nauseum. I told my lawyer I don’t think I’m available for that.
Anyway, what does it mean — that there’s a “stay?” Well, until the higher court either overrules or upholds the Appellate Court’s decision (assuming the Court of Appeals accepts the case, which I think they will for a variety of reasons), our marriages in NY State are, once again, in a state of legal limbo.
The higher court — the Court of Appeals — must decide now whether to “grant leave,” that is, they’ll decide on whether they’ll hear the case or not. They could refuse to hear the case. Realistically, though, I don’t think that will happen. Hearing the case will put this issue to rest in NY State, one way or the other.
So, let’s recap the rounds thus far.
Round one: Filing of lawsuit.
No winner but advantage GLBT Community
Round two: Depositions
Slight edge to our side, since the college’s HR director admitted that there was nothing in college procedures OR county procedures which defined marriage or spouse. HR Director also admits that the contract “implies” that opposite gender couples are eligible for spousal benefits, but doesn’t extend the same arbitrary decision making process to same-sex couples.
Score: GLBT community 1 Anti-Gay community 0
Round three: Supreme Court (trial court)
County/College emerge victors, since Judge Galloway rules that the Hernandez decision specifically ruled that same-sex marriages are illegal in NY State.
Score: GLBT community 1 Anti-Gay comunity 1
Round four: Appellate Court (mid-level appeals court)
Unanimous decision that NY State must recognize legal marriages of same-sex couples that originate outside the jurisdiction of NY State.
Score: GLBT Community 2 Anti-gay community 1
Round five: Court of Appeals (highest court in NY State)
TBD — Stay tuned.