State High Court Rules That New York Can Indeed Recognize Same-Sex Marriages From Out of State

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In 2006, the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund filed a lawsuit against Westchester County executive Andrew Spano for directing his employees to civilly recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal. Governor David Paterson later ordered state agencies to do exactly this in a May 2008 directive that had anti-gay groups like the ADF up in arms (they're coordinating their own case against Paterson, too). The case went from the State Supreme Court to the State Court of Appeals, where yesterday a narrowly written ruling handed a defeat to the ADF. Spano was within his rights to make the order, the court ruled, and while same-sex marriages performed here are not legally viable, couples legally wed elsewhere are free to live here with the benefits of any other married couple, as far as the state is concerned.

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