NY court rules married gay couples entitled to benefits

NY Court of AppealsALBANY — The state’s highest court on Thursday upheld policies giving some government benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married outside the state, but did not rule on whether gay marriage should be legal in New York, leaving that issue for the Legislature to decide, the New York Times reports.

Though the majority in the 4-to-3 decision focused its decision on the narrow question of benefits, the three judges in the minority went further and said the court should have upheld the policies because same-sex marriages legally performed in other states deserved to be recognized in New York.

When it came to the broader issue of whether the state should legalize same-sex marriage,Judge Eugene F. Pigott Jr., writing for the majority, wrote that the court hoped that “the Legislature will address this controversy.”

The Court of Appeals will probably weigh in on other cases involving same-sex marriage. The Alliance Defense Fund is also coordinating the legal challenge to an order issued last year by Gov. David A. Paterson, an outspoken supporter of same-sex marriage, that requires state agencies to recognize such marriages performed in other states.

The ruling on Thursday came as the State Senate moved closer to holding a vote on legalizing same-sex marriage. The Assembly has passed such a measure, but its prospects in the narrowly divided Senate are uncertain.

Full story at The New York Times.

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