NEW PALTZ, N.Y., March 15 (UPI) -- Two ministers were charged Monday with crimes for marrying same-sex couples in New Paltz, N.Y., duringr the weekend, 365gay.com reported.
Unitarian Universalist ministers Kay Greenleaf and Dawn Sangrey performed wedding ceremonies for 25 same-sex couples despite a warning from District Attorney Donald Williams that they could be arrested, the report said.
Greenleaf and Sangrey face multiple counts of solemnizing a marriage without a license. The charges carry a fine of $25 to $500 or jail time on each count.
The charges are the same as those leveled by Williams against New Paltz Mayor Jason West, the report said. West has pleaded innocent, but remains under a court order not to perform any more gay weddings.
The charges against Greenleaf and Sangrey directly pit the rights of churches against the state, the report said.
Williams acknowledged it will be more difficult to get a conviction against the ministers as opposed to an elected official because the clergy had not sworn to uphold the law, the report said.