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Same Sex Marriage in... New York?

We all know that Massachusetts and California are the only states to have legalized gay marriage, but The New York Times reports today that New York Gov. David Paterson has directed that state's agencies to begin to revise their policies and regulations to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions.

In a directive issued on May 14, the governor’s legal counsel, David Nocenti, instructed the agencies that gay couples married elsewhere 'should be afforded the same recognition as any other legally performed union.'

The revisions are most likely to involve as many as 1,300 statutes and regulations in New York governing everything from joint filing of income tax returns to transferring fishing licenses between spouses.

OK, that doesn't mean same-sex couples can marry in Manhattan -- or anywhere else in the Empire State. But it does address some of the messy issues that arise when a same-sex couple marries elsewhere and then lives in New York. The NYT cites legal experts as saying that the move would make New York the only state that did not itself allow gay marriage but fully recognized same-sex unions entered into elsewhere.

For a podcast debate of California's recent ruling on gay marriage and its implications for other states, see our Lawyer2Lawyer program recorded last week, with guests Tara Borelli, staff attorney in the Western Regional Office of Lambda Legal, and Brian S. Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage.

[Hat tips to both Ashby Jones at the Wall St. Journal's Law Blog and David Lat at Above the Law for pointers to the NYT piece.]

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on May 29, 2008 at 11:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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