New York Court Recognizes Foreign Gay 'Marriages'

The New York Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling that mandated the state to recognize all same-sex "marriages" performed outside its borders.

The new measure became law after the court declined to hear arguments concerning the appeal of the decision by a State Supreme Court in February that recognized full marriage benefits of two state community college employees who legally "married" in Canada.

The February ruling, which threw out the State Supreme Court's 2006 decision that state law "currently defines marriage as limited to the union of one man and one woman," argued that same-sex "marriages" performed legally in other states or countries be allowed barring legislation that would specifically prohibit it.

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Alan Van Capelle, executive director of Empire State Pride Agenda, said the recent ruling was progressive and a step toward the goal of giving same-sex couples full marriage benefits.

"Despite today's good news, the state of marriage for same-sex couples in New York is still unsettled," he said, according to

"Until a law is passed by the New York State Legislature, there will always be the possibility that another court decision could undo [this ruling] and strip away from otherwise legally married same-sex couples all of the 1,324 state-based rights and responsibilities that come with a marriage license in New York," he added.

Currently, although Massachusetts is the only state to recognize same-sex "marriage," several other states, including New York, recognize same-sex unions or "marriages" performed in other states or countries.

Since 2004, when the Massachusetts State Supreme Court made its ruling to recognize gay "marriage," 26 states have passed a constitutional ban on the practice, while over a dozen others have passed laws limiting or outlawing it.

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