The Marriage Equality Act Of 201: New York State
New York has joined the growing number of states that have legalized same sex marriage. The federal government has not yet passed similar protection for same sex couples. The family law attorneys atH. Benjamin Perez & Associates, P.C. take pride in remaining current on same sex marriage legislation across the country. They can help you to be proactive in ensuring your marital and parental rights are respected both here in NYC and throughout the country.
‘we Didn’t Know When It Would Happen’
Theresa and Kate McShane lead corporate lives Theresa is a project manager at Peloton, Kate a regional director at Starbucks and they share a life and a South Nyack home.
They met, online, in 2005, before swipe left, swipe right, Theresa says. In fact, it was love before first sight, as neither had uploaded profile photos, which back then had to be scanned after being carefully chosen. Kate was living in Montclair, New Jersey Theresa with her family in the Bronx. Soon, Theresa made the move to Montclair. They moved to South Nyack in 2010.
was always something that we wanted to do, Kate says. Right away, I knew that Theresa was the one for me forever. We marched on Washington, we marched through Manhattan, countless marches for marriage equality. It was definitely always on our mind, but we didnt know when it would happen.”‘
When the Senate vote happened, they knew it instantly. Their phones blew up, Kate says. “I think we got texted from every corner of the world going, ‘Oh, my God, like, it’s going to happen for you.’ That was wild.
It was a lightbulb moment for Kate.
While Theresa’s family always welcomed Kate, marriage wasnt a topic she raised with her Irish Catholic father, born in County Kerry.
I just thought it was a bridge too far for him,” Theresa says. “I wasnt going to bring it up, but the next day, I got a call from him and he said, We have a lot to celebrate, dont we?
Theresa Breen became Theresa McShane.
Kate laughs and agrees.
Rights And The Right Time
Activist Michael Sabatino worked on a marriage-equality bill for a decade before that night in the Senate chamber.
Sabatino and his husband, Robert Voorheis, contributed their recollections in a few chapters in the book The Peoples Victory: Stories from the Front Lines in the Fight for Marriage Equality , including a retelling of spending four days in the Senate gallery watching and waiting for the vote, lobbying when there were moments to spare.
Their pitch was about education, Sabatino recalls, about the rights that married heterosexual couples had that gay partners lacked without the benefit of marriage.
“They had no idea that there’s 1,138 federal rights and I think 1,524 state rights that come with marriage. Some of them might be mundane, but there’s a lot of rights and privileges you get. We wanted our marriages to be credible, to be like everybody else’s marriages. It wasn’t special rights.
Sabatino would later serve on the Yonkers City Council and become its majority leader he now works in Mayor Mike Spano’s administration.
“A few straight people said we were nuts. ‘Why would you want to be involved with that institution?'” he says, laughing. “They said, ‘You want to be miserable like us? Go ahead.'”
He and Voorheis didnt wait for marriage equality in New York not expecting they’d live to see it and chose to marry in Niagara Falls, Canada, on Oct. 4, 2003, so that Sabatino’s aged mother could attend.
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What Happens When Same
Now that same-sex marriage is legal in New York City, LGBT couples can fulfill their dream of marrying and enjoying all the legal rights and responsibilities that come with the bonds of matrimony. One of these rights is the right to pursue child custody in the event that the marriage ends indivorce. This is likely to be an increasingly common issue in thefamily law courts in New York as time goes on.
A 2010 study based on the U.S. Census found that approximately one-quarter of all same-sex couples nationwide were raising children, and this figure may be significantly higher in this state since the passage of the Marriage Equality Act in 2011. There is nothing fundamentally different from a about a child custody case where same-sex parents are involved-both parents have a right to pursue joint orsole custody,child support and rights ofvisitation-but there are some issues which may make the matter more complicated.
If the child was born into the marriage through in-vitro fertilization, a surrogate mother or other means, there should not be any complication, as both spouses will normally be recognized as the legal parents. The same is true if you both adopted the child, whether the adoption occurred before or after you married, as long as both parties are legal parents than both have a right to claim custody.
Prenuptial Agreements For Gay And Lesbian Couples
Prenuptial agreements for gay and lesbian couples need to be crafted differently from those for heterosexual couples. That is why you need an attorney who is not only gay-friendly but also gay knowledgeable.
The general legal principle guiding the consideration for a prenuptial agreement is the marriage itself. That works perfectly well in a state such as New York which recognizes same-sex marriage. But what if a same-sex couple gets married in New York but then moves to a state where their marriage is not legally recognized? In that event, would the terms of the prenuptial agreement be recognized and enforceable, particularly concerning such things as real estate interests, promises of future financial support, etc.?
While the laws of this country are still evolving, the experienced same-sex marriage attorneys at The Mandel Law Firm know how to best protect you, wherever you may choose to ultimately live.
As you can see, prenuptial agreements are not just for the rich or heterosexual couples anymore. As you are making your wedding plans, there are many practical matters that must be considered before you walk down the aisle. The attorneys at The Mandel Law Firm will knowledgeably and sensitively guide you through the process of creating a prenuptial agreement to serve your specific needs.
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From Controversial To Boring
Paul Schleuse and Prescott Vann have a flair for dramatic dates.
They knew each other for seven years before their first date, on Sept. 4, 2001, one week before the World Trade Center attack.
A decade later, while watching the news on TV announcing the Senate vote, Schleuse, a Binghamton University music professor, and Vann, who was with the MTA at the time, decided rather matter-of-factly that they were engaged.
While the engagement was quick to arrive, it lasted five years, until the Supreme Court ruled.
Says Schleuse: We were not in a particular hurry. But the Obergefell decision in 2015 was probably one of the things that got the ball rolling. Also, some of our family were eager to come to a wedding.
They married June 12, 2016, in their favorite New York City restaurant, on the day the world woke to the news that a gunman had killed 49 people and wounded 53 more in a mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
The idea of a gay couple being equal to any other couple has gone from being sort of controversial to being pretty boring in most settings, Schleuse says.
“In a weird way, I think people who are uncomfortable with gay folks generally, it’s actually easier for them to just hear, ‘OK, so they’re married,’ rather than having to explain ‘Well, they live together, but they’re not married, but they’re lovers.’ It’s easier than trying to explain.
Setbacks Overcome And Not
The same-sex marriage movement had seen setbacks in the run-up to that June vote in Albany. Californias Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, had passed in 2008, only to be overturned later in court. In 2009, a Marriage Equality Bill had passed in the New York Assembly, but fell short in the Senate.
In 2011, galvanized by those losses, gay-rights activists at the Human Rights Campaign, Marriage Equality New York and New York Pride Agenda doubled down, blanketing the state with operatives to drive home marriage equality through postcards, calls and emails and 150,000 constituent contacts with their representatives.
While the Supreme Courts landmark 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges made marriage equality the law of the land, a decade after that late-night New York vote, same-sex spouses continue to face cultural headwinds from those staking religious-freedom challenges in the high court.
In 2018, the justices took the side of a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple. Last week, the court backed a Catholic social services agency in Philadelphia that was contracted with the city to place foster children but refused to work with same-sex couples applying to take in foster children.
Here are a handful of those households, with perspectives on marriage equality.
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Representation For Lgbt Couples On Long Island
Same-sex marriages anddivorces involve several complexities that demand the help of a Long Island same-sex family lawyer. While the state of New York recognizes gay marriage, the federal government still does not and the ramifications of this require a skillful address in order to ensure your rights are protected.
AtFriedman & Friedman PLLC, Attorneys at Law, we concentrate on matrimonial and family law and have an extensive history fighting for the rights of gay and lesbian couples. The legal, financial and personal implications of laws relating to same-sex marriage must be approached compassionately and with great insight in order to protect your family and your finances throughout your marriage and in the event of a divorce.Schedule your consultation online or by calling 688-0088 today!
- Read Now: Attorney Andrea Friedman featured in CNN Money article discussing the costs and potential complications that can arise in same-sex divorce cases.
Divorcing Contact The Law Offices Of Dennis R Vetrano Jr Llc
If you are looking to pursue a divorce in Dutchess County, a highly knowledgeablesame-sex divorce lawyer from the Law Offices of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC can protect your rights in court and help you pursue a smooth dissolution of your marriage. With 40+ years of experience and an unparalleled commitment to protecting your rights, your case is sure to be in excellent hands.
Call our office at 605-4330 torequest a free case evaluation today!
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Lgbt Rights In New York
|LGBT rights in New York State|
|Sexual orientation and gender identity or expression protections|
The U.S. state of New York has generally been seen as socially liberal in regard to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights. The advocacy movement for LGBT rights in the state has been dated as far back as 1969 during the Stonewall riots in New York City. Same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults has been legal since the New York v. Onofre case in 1980. Same-sex marriage has been legal statewide since 2011, with some cities recognizing domestic partnerships between same-sex couples since 1998. Discrimination protections in credit, housing, employment, education, and public accommodation have explicitly included sexual orientation since 2003 and gender identity or expression since 2019. Transgender people in the state legally do not have to undergo sexual reassignment surgery to change their sex or gender on official documents since 2014. In addition, both conversion therapy on minors and the gay and trans panic defense have been banned since 2019. Since 2021, commercial surrogacy has been legally available within New York State.
Valid Grounds For Same
In order to file for divorce in New York and dissolve a same-sex marriage, one or both of thespouses must be a resident of the state, living there for at least one year before theaction.
Besides meeting the residency requirements, the couple must provide the court with one ofthe following grounds:
The cruel treatment of one spouse by another, which endangers health andwell-being.
Abandonment for more than one year.
Confinement to prison for more than three years after marriage.
The spouses have lived apart for one year and more after the granting ofa separation decree or execution of a written agreement of separation.
Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for more than six months.
Since New York is a no-fault state, the spouses can choose the irretrievable breakdown as themain reason for separation without providing any fault-based grounds.
Before filing for divorce on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown, spouses have to reach anagreement on property division, alimony, child support, and parenting time. A marriagedissolution decree cannot be obtained until these issues are resolved. New York law alsorequires that one of the spouses states under oath the fact that the marriage has brokendown.
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How Long Will It Take
The process of divorce for same-sex couples in New York can take from a few months to severalyears. If there is no contest between spouses, the marriage is short, and there are no minorchildren of the marriage, the decree for marriage dissolution can be obtained in two-threemonths. But for couples with children or property issues, the length of divorce process maybe longer.
There is no formal waiting period for the case to be finalized. However, some factors mayinfluence even uncontested cases. For example, if you are married to a same-sex spouse, thetime needed to get a divorce in New York if the spouse is out of state will depend on howfast the serving of documents is completed and how quickly the other spouse responds.
The decision on how to serve the documents is up to the plaintiff. The only condition is thatthe person who serves the papers is at least 18 years old and is not a party to thecase.
The Threats The Fights The Sacrifices The Behind
People celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York outside of Stonewall Inn in Manhattan, where the gay rights movement is considered to have started in 1969. Louis Lanzano/AP/Shutterstock
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On June 24, 2011, the New York state Senate passed same-sex marriage and it was signed later that day by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The road leading to the passage of the New York Marriage Equality Act is a long one spanning decades of work, struggle and sacrifice on the part of activists and members of the LGBTQ community. In New York, the legislative history began in 2001, when state Sen. Tom Duane, the first openly gay person elected to the state Senate, introduced a same-sex marriage bill for the first time. He would introduce it each year until 2011, when a bill albeit not technically his passed both chambers and was signed into law.
Assemblyman Daniel ODonnell, himself a gay legislator, spearheaded the first successful vote on same-sex marriage in either house in Albany, working with Assemblywoman Deborah Glick to pass a bill from then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer in 2007. ODonnell spoke to every member of his conference and delivered color-coded charts every week to then-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver tracking where each member stood on the bill. In the end, 85 Democrats voted in favor.
The following interviews have been edited for clarity and brevity.
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All New Yorkers Are Equal Under The Law
Late in the evening of June 24, 2011, the Marriage Equality Act passed the GOP-controlled Senate 33 to 29, with all Democrats and four Republicans voting in its favor. Cuomo signed it into law the same night at five minutes to midnight.
“With the world watching, the Legislature, by a bipartisan vote, has said that all New Yorkers are equal under the law,” Cuomo said in a statement. “With this vote, marriage equality will become a reality in our state, delivering long overdue fairness and legal security to thousands of New Yorkers.”
The New York Marriage Equality Act amended New York’s Domestic Relations Law to affirm that no government treatment or legal status, effect, right, benefit, privilege, protection or responsibility relating to marriage shall differ based on the parties to the marriage being the same sex or a different sex.
Quinn, who was in City Hill at the time trying to pass the citys budget, remembers getting word during a press conference with Bloomberg. A staffer gestured wildly from the sidelines with a giant thumbs up.
Oh God, as a New Yorker, it just made me so proud, Quinn said, and gratified that, finally, a discriminatory fact had been erased from the record. It meant a lot. It’s hard to hold your head up higher as a New Yorker, because we’re a pretty arrogant group, but I felt I could hold my head up higher.
It was kind of bittersweet to see it on CNN, he said. But, no, honestly, it was amazing.
Late June The Religious Exemption
Stephen Saland: I went to Sen. Skelos weeks before the vote to tell him that if the bill was restructured somewhat, I would probably want to support the bill. And at that point he asked if I would meet with Gov. Cuomo and in effect negotiate with Gov. Cuomo. Initially, I did that, I believe for one meeting, by myself, accompanied by counsel. I then decided this impacted the entire conference and I thought I should have at least someone, another member, there with me. It was decided that Sen. Hannon and Sen. Lanza would join me. And the three of us had a number of sessions. Since there was really only a smattering of support in the conference, much of the opposition turned on religious belief, and it was incumbent upon me to make sure that even though this would not be accepted by the religious community on the whole there are elements within the community that would accept it that there were exceptions that prevented any subsequent problems down the road.
All of these protesters were screaming and they had no idea that I actually had the bill language in my tights. Katherine Grainger, then-assistant counsel to Gov. Andrew Cuomo
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