Here we go, via Atrios... But did 2004 teach us that ultimately this is a bad kind of decision for gay rights? Would there have been all those state referendums making it unconstitutional if it weren't for court rulings like this one?
State Supreme Court Justice Doris Ling-Cohan said that the New York State Constitution guarantees basic freedoms to lesbian and gay people, and that those rights are violated when same-sex couples are not allowed to marry.Maybe basic civil rights are too important to worry about political calculations; maybe I should applaud every decision that affirms equal rights under the law. But if it's just overturned, or if 3/4 of the country rebels against it in a way to make it harder to achieve, doesn't that push us that much farther from meaningful gay rights? What's a gay marriage, or a civil unions, supporter to do anymore?
The ruling said the state Constitution requires same-sex couples to have equal access to marriage, and that the couples represented by Lambda Legal must be given marriage licenses.