NY Governor Directs State to Honor Out-of-State Same Sex Marriages

New York Governor David Paterson has directed all state agencies to recognize same sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions.

In a directive issued on May 14, the governor’s legal counsel, David Nocenti, instructed the agencies that gay couples married elsewhere “should be afforded the same recognition as any other legally performed union.”

The revisions are most likely to involve as many as 1,300 statutes and regulations in New York governing everything from joint filing of income tax returns to transferring fishing licenses between spouses.

…The directive is the strongest signal yet that Mr. Paterson, who developed strong ties to the gay community as a legislator, plans to push aggressively to legalize same-sex unions as governor. His predecessor, Eliot Spitzer, introduced a bill last year that would have legalized gay marriage, but even as he submitted it, doubted that it would pass. The Democratic-dominated Assembly passed the measure, but the Republican-led Senate has refused to call a vote on it.

Short of an act by the Legislature, the directive ordered by Mr. Paterson is the one of the strongest statements a state can make in favor of gay unions.

“Basically we’ve done everything we can do on marriage legislatively at this point,” said Sean Patrick Maloney, a senior adviser to Mr. Paterson. “But there are tools in our tool kit on the executive side, and this is one.”

Equality — it has a nice ring to it. Kudos to Gov. Paterson.

via The Albany Project, with a tip of the hat to mooncat at Left In Alabama

4 Responses to “NY Governor Directs State to Honor Out-of-State Same Sex Marriages”

  1. Bill says:

    Way to go, Governor Paterson. That is outstanding.

  2. Nancy says:

    Equality goes Southern would even make me happier! This is a giant leap for mankind though!!!

  3. Kathy says:

    Nancy, maybe we’ll see it in our lifetime. That would be pretty wonderful.

  4. Del says:

    I heard this on NPR while we were driving back from Baton Rouge today. They interviewed Paterson. It was great – the woman, can’t think of her name, said something like, “Well, what if someone had given a sweeping order like this about something you disagreed with?” and he said, “I would think about whether it fitted with the law, not about my personal beliefs.” I wanted to cheer.

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