I mentioned last week that New Paltz Mayor Jason West planned to officiate a couple dozen marriages between same-sex couples over the weekend. Mayor West did do this, and was charged with 19 counts of “solemnizing marriages for couples who had no licenses” on Tuesday. Ulster County DA Donald Williams brought the charges aginst West. Williams noted that he has no plans to seek jail time against West.
Fortunately, the Green Party mayor has no plans to stop performing future marriage ceremonies. West said he will continue, and that “‘the looks on their faces, just the absolute joy of finally being able to be equal,’ he said. ‘That is the highest moral calling I could possibly imagine.'”
As with the marriages taking place in California, there is a fair chance that eventually these marriages will be nullified. Still, I applaud Mayor West for standing up for what is right and performing these marriages. West is risking jail time, and probably just destroyed his political career, but doesn’t care. He knows that everyone should be allowed to marry, whether they are marrying someone of the same or opposite sex. And he is standing up for this. I admire West’s actions.