ALBANY, N.Y. — Opposition is forming against Gov. David Paterson's directive to state agencies to recognize gay marriages legally performed in other states and countries.

The Rev. Duane Motley of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms says the Democratic governor is circumventing the Legislature and courts and slapping New Yorkers in the face.

Motley says granting government benefits to gay couples will come at a cost to the state even as Paterson calls for cuts in spending because of looming deficits.

Motley says Paterson shouldn't force the state to recognize gay marriages when they remain illegal in New York.

Paterson is directing agencies to recognize gay marriages performed legally elsewhere when granting state employment and other benefits.