Criminal Charges Tossed in NY Gay Marriage

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- A prosecutor dropped all charges Tuesday against a small town mayor who could have faced up to a year in jail for marrying gay couples on the steps of the village hall.

New Paltz Mayor Jason West, then 26, was among the first public officials in the nation to marry same-sex couples, following San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in February 2004.

He had been charged with 24 misdemeanor counts of violating the state's domestic relations law after marrying about two dozen gay couples in ceremonies that drew national attention to the village of about 13,000 residents 75 miles north of New York City.

Ulster County District Attorney Donald Williams said Tuesday he dropped the charges because he believed a trial would be unnecessary and divisive.

Details here from the AP via the New York Times.