Gov. Eliot Spitzer and Lt.Ã‚Â Gov. David PatersonÃ‚Â introduced a bill today that would legalize gay marriage in the state, legislation that the governor admitted this week has little chance of passing this session.
“This legislation would create equal legal protection and responsibilities for all individuals who seek to marry or have their marriage protected in theÃ‚Â State of New York,” Spitzer said in a statement. “Strong, stable families are theÃ‚Â cornerstones of our society. The responsibilities inherent in the institution of marriage benefit those individuals and society as a whole.”Ã‚Â
Paterson said the legislation “is an important step in the fight for civil rights for all people.”
Under the proposal:
–A marriage thatÃ‚Â was otherwise validÃ‚Â under the law would be valid regardless of theÃ‚Â sex of the individuals.
–Government treatment, legal status and all rights, benefits, privileges, protections or responsibilities relating to marriageÃ‚Â would be equal for all individual parties who entered into marriage, regardless of the sex of their partner.
–NoÃ‚Â marriage applicationÃ‚Â could be deniedÃ‚Â because the parties were ofÃ‚Â the same sex.
–No clergy member of religious institution would be compelled to perform gay marriages.