The Thomas More Society of Chicago has filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the New York State Catholic Conference concerning whether N.Y. should recognize out-of-state same-sex "marriages" that have been contracted in states which recognize the practice.
The Thomas More Society’s brief argues that recognition of such unions would undermine a natural and social institution and is not required by New York precedents governing the recognition of out-of-state marriages.
"A lower court said that New York state can recognize an out-of-state same-sex marriage, which does not make sense. A marriage that violates the public policy of New York state should not be recognized, regardless of where it was entered into, period," Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel for the Thomas More Society in Chicago, said in a statement.
Brejcha characterized the lower court’s decision as an "aberrant departure" from governing law.
"New York's Court of Appeals has already handed down a definitive ruling in 2006 that the state's public policy, as set forth in its Domestic Relations Law, clearly provides that the state prohibits marriage between members of the same sex. Furthermore, under New York state law, the state is not required to recognize out-of-state marriages that could not be legally performed in New York state," he continued.
Richard E. Barnes, director of the New York State Catholic Conference, said the state’s Catholic bishops have "consistently supported" efforts to defend marriage from redefinition efforts.
Barnes said that marriage has always been defined as "the enduring union of one man and one woman, ordered for the procreation of children and the mutual support of the husband and wife."
"The New York State Court of Appeals has previously ruled that state law defines marriage in this way, and that the state has a legitimate interest in prohibiting so-called 'same-sex marriage'," he added.