In New York State at the beginning of 2010, same-sex couples cannot get married but can be married. The state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, construed the state’s marriage law in 2006 to prohibit state officials from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but said nothing in that decision about whether same-sex couples married outside the state would be considered married when they were in the state. In February 2008, an intermediate appeals court in Rochester ruled that New York’s marriage recognition law supported extending comity to a same-sex marriage performed in Canada, and several other appellate courts have reached similar conclusions, but the Court of Appeals avoided deciding the issue in a 2009 case, instead resolving the questions presented on narrower grounds of standing and statutory construction. Although the State Assembly has twice approved a bill to allow same-sex couples to marry in the state, it was defeated in the State Senate shortly after the Court of Appeals ruling. This article provides the history of this issue in New York.
54 N.Y. L. Sch. L. Rev. 479 (2009-2010)