Gay Marriage Gains Notice in State Court

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March 6, 2008


"On the way home from work in Rochester, Patricia Martinez stopped at a liquor store and bought a small bottle of Champagne to celebrate her marriage to another woman. The wedding took place in Canada nearly four years ago, but it wasn't until Feb. 1 that a New York appellate court declared it valid in the state.

"Last week in Manhattan, a State Supreme Court justice, ruling in a divorce proceeding, recognized the Canadian marriage of two New York City women, known publicly as Beth R. and Donna M. ? or Mom and Mommy to the two young children they had been raising together.

"...Last April, Donna M., served an eviction notice on Beth R. A week later, Beth R. filed for divorce, so she could 'legally end the marriage and someday move on if she wants,' said Susan Sommer, her lawyer and senior counsel for Lambda Legal, a gay rights legal group. Beth R. wanted 'equitable distribution of marital property,' according to her divorce filing, and to ensure a continuing relationship with the children, including giving them financial support, her lawyer said."