Fighting Same-Sex Policy Seems to Be Uphill Battle

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May 30, 2008


"Legal challenges to Gov. David A. Paterson's plan to recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions are likely to come thick and fast. But they face an uphill fight, legal experts said on Thursday, given New York's unusual legal terrain.

"The plan, issued by the governor's office in a memorandum on May 14, was, for starters, in one sense, unremarkable.

"...For more than a year, the state's Department of Civil Service has provided health benefits to same-sex couples who were married in other jurisdictions, and some localities have similar policies. State courts have rejected challenges to the policies.

"'At this point,' said Susan Sommer, a lawyer with the Lambda Legal, 'we have a now-unbroken line of cases saying that out-of-state-marriages by same-sex couples must be respected in New York.'"