Court Upholds New York’s Recognition of Out of State Same Sex Marriages

Bronx Supreme Court Justice Lucy Billings has upheld Governor Patterson’s executive order that state agencies recognize same sex marriages performed in states which allow such unions.  See Golden v. Patterson  (Index # 260148/08).

        The old Bronx County Courthouse

The Governor’s executive order, which was discussed in our prior post, was attacked by a group against same sex marriage.

In essence, the court found that the Governor’s order was in conformity with well established New York law on marriage recognition.  In sum, New York will recognize a valid, out of state marriage.  For example, New York will reconginze a valid, out of state “common law marriage” even though a “common law marriage” cannot be entered in New York.

An appeal is likely, but it is doubtful that this well reasoned and sound decision will be reversed.

Mark E. Seitelman, 9/3/08,


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