Friday, September 26, 2008

NY Recognizes Out-of-State Marriages

Can you imagine getting a job transfer, moving to a new state, and having the state tell you your marriage is invalid there?

That's what the Alliance Defense Fund wanted for gay workers in New York. But a judge ruled otherwise this month.

“The court said that respect for out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples is the law in New York,” said Susan Sommer, Senior Counsel at Lambda Legal.

Dismissing a lawsuit challenging out-of-state marriages for 2 gay NY state employees who had married in Canada, the New York Supreme Court Bronx trial court put it this way:

“…when partners manifest the commitment to their relationship and family, by solemnizing that commitment elsewhere, through one of life's most significant events, and come to New York, whether returning home or setting down roots, to carry on that commitment, nothing is more antithetical to family stability than requiring them to abandon that solemnized commitment."

The court also said: "The emotional, familial, financial, and legal stability that accompanies marriage establishes a strong presumption in favor of the marriage's continued validity.”

Attorneys with Lambda Legal and Jeffrey S. Trachtman and Norman C. Simon of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP represented two long-time public employees raising a special needs child adopted from foster care. The couple depends on the protections that come from respect for their marriage.

This decision affirms their human equality and is another step forward toward a true egalitarian society respecting the rights of all our citizens.

Kudos to the lawyers who protected the rights of their clients and the many who will be positively affected by this decision!

Lambda Legal has an article on this case too: Read more »

Photo credit: Flickr - Jeff Belmonte from Cuiabá, Brazil

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