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NY appeals court rules same-sex marriage bar constitutional

[JURIST] A New York appeals court has ruled [opinion, PDF] that the state's marriage law, which allows marriage between a man and a woman but not between same-sex couples, is constitutional. The 5-0 decision covers three separate cases [NYCLU case backgrounder] filed on behalf of same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses. The couples argued that the Domestic Relations Law [text], which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, violates the equal protection, privacy, and due process clauses found in the New York constitution [text]. The appeals court disagreed, saying that the legislature, not the courts, was the appropriate forum to change the definition of marriage. The NYCLU has said it will appeal the decision [press release] to New York's Court of Appeals.

Last December, in a separate case, a New York appeals court overturned a lower court ruling [decision text] that would have allowed same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] in New York City. In that case, the appeals court wrote that the lower court judge's decision "was an act that exceeded the court's constitutional mandate and usurped that of the Legislature." 1010 WINS has local coverage.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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