Tuesday, February 5, 2008

New York Appellate Division Recognizes Canadian Gay Marriage

Thanks to this recent New York Divorce and Family Law Blog post for reporting on the recent New York Appellate Division (intermediate level state appellate court) case of Martinez v. County of Monroe, which recognized a same-sex marriage of a lesbian couple which had been performed in Canada, and gave it effect in New York, despite the fact that New York, like all U.S. states save Massachusetts, does not permit its own residents to enter into same-sex marriage.

For more information, see the New York Legal Update blog, and the excellent analysis of Joanna Grossman in her Findlaw article of today.

Although not from the highest appellate court in New York, this is significant as it is apparently a case of first impression in New York, and is an appellate decision at odds with the rationale and holding of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, which recently held that its family court could not grant a divorce to a lesbian couple, married in Massachusetts, but now residing in Rhode Island. (For more on the Rhode Island case, see my last blog entries on it from last December, here and here.)

We will have to keep watching to see what other states will do. I do think it is only a matter of time before we will actually receive some guidance from the US Supreme Court, whether we want it or not, on some of the legal issues presented by the problem of same-sex couples looking for legal recognition in states without same-sex marriage.

For information about Massachusetts divorce and family law, see Law Offices of Steven Ballard.

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