Thursday, September 8, 2011

New York mayor officiates aides’ wedding


Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, presided over the marriage of two of his aides yesterday.

He officiated the wedding ceremony of John Feinblatt, his chief policy advisor, and Jonathan Mintz, the city’s commissioner for consumer affairs, who have been together for 14 years.

The couple married at Gracie Mansion with their two young daughters, Maeve and Georgia.

Mr Bloomberg, who joked that the couple better not be late for work the next day, addressed the couple in front of around 150 guests.

He said: “It’s taken New York State a long time to recognise what the two of you must have known instinctively: that two people who want to be together, and raise a family together, and spend the rest of their lives together – have a relationship and a beautiful family – that, in every way, deserves to be recognised and commemorated equally under the eye of the law.

“Today, we are doing that. And today, surrounded by family and friends, you are making history. Not only for the obvious reasons. You are making another kind of history. Equally important. You are writing the next chapter in your personal history and that of your family. By going through this ceremony, you are changing the future – for yourself, and for generations to follow.

“When we look beyond the excitement and satisfaction of what today means to so many who fought for it to be possible. We come back to what today means to you, John – and you, Jonathan – and to your families – stretching back, and stretching forward, through the years. It’s such a simple thing… but with such incredible and profound meaning.”

Just over 800 gay weddings were held in New York City yesterday as the state celebrate the first day of legalised gay marriage.

Next round for California’s gay marriage ban


The next challenge for California’s ban on gay marriage comes today when the state’s highest court considers whether gay marriage opponents have the legal standing to defend it in court.

The state Supreme Court will hear arguments on the issue.

US District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled in August 2010 that the 2008 ban, known as Proposition 8, should be lifted.

Then, opponents applied for – and won – a stay while they appealed the decision.

Judge Walker’s verdict is being considered by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeal, which says it will not make a ruling until the Supreme Court decides whether the gay rights opponents have the legal standing to bring the case.

Anti-gay group wants to challenge the ruling but state officials have refused the defend the ban.