Gov. David Paterson has announced plans to legalize same-sex marriages in New York.
He hopes to tap into the momentum of other states that have recently allowed same-sex couples to wed.
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is openly gay, stood by Paterson’s side during today’s announcement. Supporters cheered.
The governor’s marriage equality Program Bill recognizes the right of marriage and would grant same-sex couples the same legal recognition afforded to partners of the opposite sex. The governor was joined by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, federal, state and local lawmakers and other advocates to make the announcement.
“Marriage equality is about basic civil rights and personal freedom,” Paterson said. “Too many individuals face legal discrimination every single day. Too many loving families do not receive the legal recognition they deserve. Anyone who has ever faced intolerance of any kind knows the solemn importance of protecting the rights of all people. That is why we stand together today to embrace civil rights for every New Yorker. We stand together today for marriage equality in the State of New York.”
The bill would amend the Domestic Relations Law to give same-sex couples the opportunity to enter into civil marriages. It would mandate that all provisions of state law be construed to encompass same-sex marriages. As a result of this legislation, same-sex spouses would enjoy the same legal status and treatment under New York law as heterosexual couples, on issues such as property ownership, inheritance, health care, and insurance coverage.
Paterson noted that it’s the same bill the Democrat-controlled state Assembly passed in 2007. It died in the Senate, where the Republican majority kept it from going to a vote.
Opponents are vowing to make sure this one fails as well.
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