Police and officials seem uncertain of enforcement mechanism—mayor’s office refuses to intervene; citizens openly flout law.
New York’s gay marriage law is in its second week on the books, but according to officials, advocates, and ordinary citizens, enforcement of the law remains a low priority. According to NYPD sources, who asked to remain anonymous due to their own illegal status as non-gay married officers, the police department has not yet received instruction from administrators in how to apply the law.
A spokesman for Mayor Bloomberg insisted that the city remains committed to the law, but admitted that the mayor had no firm plans to order police to issue summonses to residents who remain ungay married. When pressed about Mr. Bloomberg’s own marital status the spokesman declined to comment. When further asked about his own marriage the spokesman uttered an expletive and walked away.
A reporter’s tour of the city over the past few days confirmed that heterosexual marriage remains a widespread problem. In Central Park on Saturday over the course of just a few hours several non-gay couples were seen in full wedding attire, in the company of photographers and others conspiring to circumvent the new law. According to several wary participants, the illegal ceremonies were set to take place in full view of the authorities, and even religious officials, who according to participants also seem unconcerned about running afoul of the new law.
A visit to the city clerk’s office, which issues marriage licenses, showed city administrators to be no more concerned with enforcement than their counterparts in the NYPD and mayor’s office. Clerks were seen flagrantly issuing marriage licenses to couples consisting of opposite genders. When questioned repeatedly about violating the new law, one irate clerk suggested that this reporter’s head was stuck in a place on his own body it would be anatomically impossible to put it. When this impossibility was pointed out to the clerk he uttered the same expletive earlier used by the mayor’s spokesman, and shuttered his window.