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  New Paltz Mayor Charged for Marrying Gay Couples


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You are reading topic "New Paltz Mayor Charged for Marrying Gay Couples" in forum "Gay Marriages and Unions."

justandra
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(Posted Tuesday, March 02, 2004, 11:16:00 PM)

N.Y. mayor charged for marrying gay couples
19 criminal counts for ceremonies last weekThe Associated Press
Updated: 6:38 p.m. ET March 02, 2004NEW PALTZ, N.Y. - The village’s mayor was charged Tuesday with 19 criminal counts for performing weddings for gay couples, an act of defiance that thrust the small community into the center of the national debate over same-sex marriage.



Jason West was charged with solemnizing marriages for couples who had no licenses, a misdemeanor under the domestic relations law, according to Ulster County District Attorney Donald Williams.

Although West could face a maximum penalty of a year in jail, the prosecutor said a jail term wasn’t being contemplated at this point.

The 26-year-old Green Party mayor said he will plead innocent at his court hearing Wednesday and that he would still go through with his plans to marry as many as two dozen gay couples Saturday.

“I’m incredibly disappointed,” West said. “Apparently, it’s a crime to uphold the constitution of New York state.”

West performed wedding ceremonies for 25 gay couples Friday, making him the second mayor in the country to perform same-sex marriages. It also made this small college village 75 miles north of New York City another flash point in the national debate over gay marriage. More than 3,400 couples have been married in San Francisco, and West has about 1,000 couples on a waiting list.


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(Posted Tuesday, March 09, 2004, 2:36:00 PM)

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