- The Washington Times - Monday, December 20, 2004

NEW PALTZ, N.Y. (AP) — The Social Security Administration is rejecting marriage documents issued for all couples in communities that performed homosexual “weddings” earlier this year.

The agency is rejecting all marriage certificates issued in New Paltz, N.Y.; Asbury Park, N.J.; Multnomah County, Ore.; and Sandoval County, N.M., during the brief periods when those localities illegally granted marriage licenses to homosexual couples.

Susie Kilpatrick, 30, of New Paltz, said the local Social Security office told her that no marriage documents from the town could be used to establish identity if they were issued after Feb. 27, when New Paltz’s mayor began “marrying” homosexual couples. About 125 male-female couples have been married since then in the town.

Mrs. Kilpatrick said her marriage certificate was rejected when she went to get a new card earlier this month so she could take her husband’s name.

“What concerns me is that the certificate is the only way to prove that we’re married,” she told the New York Times for yesterday’s editions. “If something happens to us, or some other couple from New Paltz, we can’t prove we’re married. We would not be able to draw benefits.”

The Social Security Administration did not respond to requests for comment from the New York paper. A call from the Associated Press for comment yesterday was not immediately returned.

The agency posts rules on its Web site spelling out which documents can be used to obtain Social Security cards.

It accepts civil-union documents from Vermont and marriage licenses for homosexual couples in Massachusetts. Marriage certificates for homosexual couples from San Francisco, which were declared illegal, are not allowed. But the city’s other marriage licenses are being recognized.

The Web site said the legality of marriage documents in the other localities is “still unresolved at the state level.”

New York state officials, including Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and Gov. George E. Pataki, have ruled that same-sex ceremonies violate state law. Several lawsuits challenging the law are pending, and New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, is widely expected to make the ultimate decision on homosexual “marriage” in the state.

Residents in New Paltz are confused why Social Security officials are refusing marriage licenses from their town.

Dan Wilen, New Paltz’s town supervisor, said the agency never contacted town officials to inform them that the certificates would not be recognized. He called the policy unfair.

“They’re delving into every aspect of our lives, including marriage,” he said. “I’m appalled.”

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