Docstoc

Gay Marriages From Other States Recognized By NY Appeals Court

Document Sample
Gay Marriages From Other States Recognized By NY Appeals Court Powered By Docstoc
					Gay Marriages From Other States Recognized By NY Appeals
Court
Until another appeals court rules otherwise, New York must recognize same-sex marriages
conducted in other states. So held the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth
Department this past Friday, February 1, 2008.
The decision in Martinez v. County of Monroe arose out of Martinez's quest to obtain spousal health
care benefits from Monroe Community College for Lisa Golden, whom she married in Ontario,
Canada. There was no question that the marriage was legal where performed. And then they
returned to New York.
In the absence of a New York statute forbidding same-sex marriage, the Court found no reason not to
recognize the marriage. It held that the marriage "is entitled to recognition in New York State." Is this
a silent invitation to the New York State legislature to pass a law deciding this issue one way or the
other? Maybe.
After the lawsuit was started but before the court's decision, the college changed its health insurance
policy to cover same-sex spouses. This gave rise to an interesting wrinkle in this case, for if Lisa
Golden was getting health insurance anyway, what was there left to sue over? In legal terms we ask if
there was any longer a "justiciable controversy." The Court said that there was, as the college would
be liable for damages for the time period that it refused to give health insurance coverage to the
plaintiff's spouse. We don't know if those damages are great or small. They might be the cost of Lisa
Golden going to the doctor's office, or her out-of-pocket expense to purchase her own health
insurance or whatever.
Thus, it seems that the court had a potential way out here if it wanted to duck the controversy entirely.
It may have decided that since the college is now providing health benefits, there wasn't justiciable
controversy so the lawsuit was "moot." Instead, the court waded in and addressed the gay marriage
issue head-on, giving a favorable and enlightened reading to the facts before it. No cowards on this
Appellate Division, Fourth Department panel.
Commentary: Gay advocates hail the decision as only a first step towards what they consider truly
would be fair: permitting gay marriages in New York State. I and my lawyer friends look forward to the
day when gay marriage is legal in New York; where there are gay marriages, there WILL be gay
divorces.
Until another appeals court rules otherwise, New York must recognize same-sex marriages
conducted in other states. So held the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth
Department this past Friday, February 1, 2008.
The decision in Martinez v. County of Monroe arose out of Martinez's quest to obtain spousal health
care benefits from Monroe Community College for Lisa Golden, whom she married in Ontario,
Canada. There was no question that the marriage was legal where performed. And then they
returned to New York.
In the absence of a New York statute forbidding same-sex marriage, the Court found no reason not to
recognize the marriage. It held that the marriage "is entitled to recognition in New York State." Is this
a silent invitation to the New York State legislature to pass a law deciding this issue one way or the
other? Maybe.
After the lawsuit was started but before the court's decision, the college changed its health insurance
policy to cover same-sex spouses. This gave rise to an interesting wrinkle in this case, for if Lisa
Golden was getting health insurance anyway, what was there left to sue over? In legal terms we ask if
there was any longer a "justiciable controversy." The Court said that there was, as the college would
be liable for damages for the time period that it refused to give health insurance coverage to the
plaintiff's spouse. We don't know if those damages are great or small. They might be the cost of Lisa
Golden going to the doctor's office, or her out-of-pocket expense to purchase her own health
insurance or whatever.
Thus, it seems that the court had a potential way out here if it wanted to duck the controversy entirely.
It may have decided that since the college is now providing health benefits, there wasn't justiciable
controversy so the lawsuit was "moot." Instead, the court waded in and addressed the gay marriage
issue head-on, giving a favorable and enlightened reading to the facts before it. No cowards on this
Appellate Division, Fourth Department panel.
Commentary: Gay advocates hail the decision as only a first step towards what they consider truly
would be fair: permitting gay marriages in New York State. I and my lawyer friends look forward to the
day when gay marriage is legal in New York; where there are gay marriages, there WILL be gay
divorces.

Same Sex Wedding On Long Island

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: be liable for damages for the time period that it refused to give health insurance coverage to the