Bill Duncan from the Marriage Law Foundation calls the Paterson move “outrageous”:
The legislature has had the opportunity to act and has not; the state’s highest court rejected any claim that the state constitution requires it and now the governor has made an end run around these decisions by broadcasting that New York couples can go to California and get married, then return home and have those marriages recognized. His opinion, however, can only effect executive branch agencies and there are still a couple of cases pending in New York courts on whether the court system will recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages and whether recognition is mandated by law. The first of the cases to get to the appellate level ruled in favor of recognition but it will probably still be a while before that becomes a settled matter.
Paterson and I both went to elementary and high school in New York State but we seemed to come away from it with two completely different understandings of the way government is supposed to work.