Thinking About California. Maybe Gonna Get Married.

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May 18, 2008


"As soon as the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that gay men and lesbians had a constitutional right to marry, my partner and I started getting the calls: When would we head West to get hitched?

"In the euphoric wake of the decision, it sure seemed like a great idea. Unlike Massachusetts, where a couple has to declare an intention to live in the state, California has no residency requirement. Plus, we have a lot of family there.

"But do we really need to go to California?

"...If we got married in California, could we file jointly in New York? And if so, would we still have to file separately to the Internal Revenue Service?

"...I wondered, would we be treated as a married couple once we came back to New York? I called Susan Sommer, senior counsel at Lambda Legal, a gay rights advocacy group. The good news, she told me, is that because of recent court decisions, a marriage between two women in California would be, at least technically, recognized in New York."