New York mayor being prosecuted for conducting gay marriages:
According to FoxNews,
The village's mayor was charged Tuesday with 19 criminal counts for performing marriage ceremonies for gay couples.Thanks to reader Michael Zorn for the pointer. The relevant statute is N.Y. Domestic Relations Law sec. 17:
Jason West was charged with solemnizing marriages for couples who had no licenses, a misdemeanor under the domestic relations law, according to Ulster County District Attorney Donald Williams.
Although West could face a maximum penalty of a year in jail, the prosecutor said a jail term wasn't being contemplated at this point.
The 26-year-old Green Party mayor said he will plead not guilty at his court hearing Wednesday and that he would still go through with his plans to marry as many as two dozen gay couples Saturday.
"I'm incredibly disappointed," West said. "Apparently, it's a crime to uphold the constitution of New York state." . . .
If any clergyman or other person authorized by the laws of this state to perform marriage ceremonies shall solemnize or presume to solemnize any marriage between any parties without a license being presented to him or them as herein provided or with knowledge that either party is legally incompetent to contract matrimony as is provided for in this article he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.