Although lesbian and gay citizens of New York cannot marry, those who marry elsewhere in the world will be supported by the state.
According to The New York Times:
“…the appellate court in Rochester held that a gay couple’s 2004 marriage in Canada must be respected under the state’s longstanding marriage recognition rule…”
Filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union, it’s the first appellate court decision in New York – and the first known decision in the country – to hold that the state must recognize a same-sex union certified elsewhere.
The case, Martinez v. County of Monroe, was filed in 2005 in State Supreme Court on behalf of Patricia Martinez , an employee of Monroe Community College in Rochester, seeking health care benefits for her female partner whom she married in Canada in 2004.
“This is a victory for families, it’s a victory for fairness and it’s a victory for human rights,” said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the N.Y.C.L.U. “Congratulations to all same-sex couples validly married outside of New York State: You are now husband and husband, wife and wife. Now we need to work toward a New York where you don’t have to cross state or country lines to get married.”