New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a
Democrat, has offered to officiate the wedding of a gay couple denied
a marriage license.
Thomas Hurd and Dylan Toften wrote
about their experience in a Facebook post on Monday.
“She said make an appointment to have
her deputy do it,” Toften wrote of Laurel “Sherrie” Eriksen,
the clerk of Root, which is located 40 miles northwest of Albany.
Robert Subik, the town's attorney,
defended Eriksen's actions, telling The New York Times that
the couple failed to make an appointment. “I think she handled it
professionally. She gave them an option for them to achieve their
goal with another person in her office, and they were certainly free
to do that,” he
Subik acknowledged that Eriksen had
mentioned her personal objection to same-sex marriage to the couple.
“Of course, the two men are free to
go to another jurisdiction to obtain their license,” Subik told The
In tweeting the Gazette's story,
Cuomo said that he would investigate the matter.
“The denial of a marriage license to
a same sex couple yesterday in Montgomery County is an unconscionable
act of discrimination that goes against our values as New Yorkers,”
he wrote. “I am directing an investigation into this incident to
ensure that it never happens again.”
In a statement given to The
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Cuomo offered to marry the
“On behalf of all New Yorkers, I
would like to congratulate Dylan Toften and his future husband on
their marriage,” Cuomo
said. “I invite them to come to Albany, and I would be happy
to offer my services as an officiant at their wedding.”
The couple is planning to marry on