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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Gay Marriage now legal in New York state...for at least a month

Posted By on Wed, May 7, 2008 at 2:08 PM


By Benjamin Wachs

If two lesbians got married and moved to New York, would anybody notice?

While it’s received virtually no media coverage up here, the answer is yes – and the fight for gay marriage in New York took a cautious step forward yesterday when the state’s highest court announced that it would not hear an appeal of a lawsuit by an upstate New York county … making gay marriage, at least temporarily, the law of the land.

As I reported here, a lesbian couple in Rochester, New York, got married in Canada – and then sued for spousal benefits under the premise that New York state law requires the state to recognize marriages performed in other states, even if they would be illegal in New York. They lost the first round, but won on appeal – in a unanimous decision.

Monroe County (which runs Monroe Community College, where spouse Patricia Martinez is employed) announced it would appeal to the State’s highest court … which yesterday refused to hear the appeal.

Is it over yet? Nope – technically the court said it would only be able to hear an appeal once damages are awarded … but court watchers say the court’s unwillingness to take this up yet strongly suggests that they’d rule for Martinez.

The county might has to decide whether to appeal after damages are awarded, and this may not be officially over for a while. But, right now, gays married out of state are legally recognized in New York.

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