NEW PALTZ, N.Y., July 26 (UPI) -- The mayor of New Paltz, N.Y., who presided over same-sex marriages 2 1/2 years ago, is now the town's "marriage officer," approving heterosexual unions.
The town board appointed Jason West, 29, to the position to serve couples who "aren't necessarily religion-based," town Supervisor Toni Hokanson told the Kingston (N.Y.) Daily Freeman.
Hokanson said the appointment of West does not mean the town will start allowing gay weddings.
His position only gives him authority to wed "people who have properly obtained a New York state marriage license," Hokanson said.
New York state law says only heterosexual couples may receive marriage licenses.
In February 2004, West drew international attention when he performed same-sex civil weddings for 25 couples. The service did not qualify as a marriage ceremony because none of the couples was licensed to marry.
West was later barred from presiding over same-sex weddings. He was also brought up on 24 criminal charges that were later dropped.
New York state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, ruled 4-2 this month that state law defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman.