Albany, NY – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing criticism from both sides of the political aisle after he vetoed a bill to allow federal judges to officiate weddings in his state because some of them were appointed by President Donald Trump.
Many lawmakers considered the bipartisan legislation to be a formality.
“Four years ago, we gave the governor the ability to perform marriages. Two years ago, we gave legislators that ability. So when it was suggested to me that we expand it to federal judges, I thought, ‘Why not? The more the merrier!’” Democratic State Senator Liz Krueger told the New York Post.
“I’m certainly no fan of the judges this president is choosing to appoint, but since any New Yorker can become a minister online for $25 and legally perform weddings, I didn’t consider this to be a major issue,” Krueger said.
Current New York law allows all state judges to preside over weddings in their official capacity, according to the New York Post.
The governor, mayors, former mayors, some city and deputy city clerks, local justices, and members of the clergy may also preside over weddings.
But only certain federal judges in New York can officiate a wedding.
Federal judges from the second circuit court of appeals and the Southern, Eastern, Northern and Western districts can marry people in the state, the New York Post reported.
“I cannot in good conscience support legislation that would authorize such actions by federal judges who are appointed by this federal administration,” Cuomo said when he vetoed the bill that had passed through both side of the state house with bipartisan support.
“President Trump does not embody who we are as New Yorkers,” Cuomo continued in a statement. “The cornerstones that built our great state are diversity, tolerance, and inclusion. Based on these reasons, I must veto this bill.”
Albany Law School Professor Vincent Bonventre, who has supported the governor in the past, called Cuomo’s reason for the veto “utterly unpersuasive,” according to the New York Post.
“It’s hard to imagine a more petty, small action from a sitting governor, but that’s Prince Andrew in a nutshell,’’ New York State Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy said.