Court Backs Paterson Regarding Gay Unions

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September 2, 2008


"Governor David A. Paterson was acting within his powers when he issued an executive order requiring government agencies to recognize same-sex marriages performed outside the state, a court ruled on Tuesday.

"The decision, issued by Justice Lucy A. Billings of State Supreme Court in the Bronx is the latest in a string of rulings by state courts that have upheld the right of same-sex couples who were married in other jurisdictions to have their marital status recognized in New York.

"...In a statement, Governor Paterson lauded the ruling as 'a wise and fair determination of the policy that holds valid same-sex marriages legally performed in other states.' The decision was also praised by the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund.

"'There has been a steady drumbeat of courts recognizing longstanding New York law as it applies to same-sex couples,' Susan Sommer, a lawyer at the fund, said in a statement.