Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced yesterday that the City of New York will appeal the recent ruling that state marriage laws violate constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process.
It's a surprising move for Bloomberg, who is up for re-election this year. The former Democrat switched to the Republican party, presumably to run in the mayoral race on the popular Giuliani's coattails. He is not, however, a Bush style Republican. He's rather liberal, socially, and is fiscally responsible (west side stadium idea singularly excepted). The same would be true for most Republicans in New York City: social moderates, fiscal conservatives, leaning probably more toward libertarianism.
Bloomberg faces primary challenges from a couple of Republicans who complain he is not toeing the party line; one of the famous RINO's: Republican in Name Only. At yesterday's announcement, he voiced his personal support for gay marriage but conceded he is obligated to appeal because state law does not permit same-sex marriage.
It's a gamble: will it be enough for more conservative New Yorkers (especially in Giuliani's Staten Island backyard) that he subordinates his personal feelings to the law, or will he alienate the moderate and liberal contingencies -- which are far larger -- by going to bat for a law that he himself admits he doesn't agree with?
Furthermore -- and here my lawyer readers can help me out, please -- isn't the City's tactic a little redundant? Their argument is that state law forbids same-sex marriage. The judge has ruled that law unconstitutional, but the City is going to try to defend itself using the unconstitutional law? I wish them luck.
Oh, wait. No, I don't.