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Equal Civil Marriage Rights for All New York Couples
This resolution was approved by the Board of Directors of the New York County Lawyers’ Association at its regular meeting on December 8, 2003.
WHEREAS, the New York County Lawyers’ Association (“NYCLA”) has always been in the forefront as an advocate for the equal treatment and civil rights of all people; and
WHEREAS, NYCLA is committed to equality not only for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, but also for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender couples and families; and
WHEREAS, same-sex couples in committed relationships do not presently have any of the property, inheritance, immigration, and other legal protections, rights and responsibilities that heterosexual couples acquire when they marry; and
WHEREAS, states like Vermont, California and Hawaii, the Canadian provinces of Ontario and British Columbia, Belgium, and the Netherlands have passed comprehensive measures giving rights and responsibilities to same sex couples and families up to and including civil marriage; and
WHEREAS, New Yorkers should have the right to get married in their own state, in the presence of their own friends and families, without having to travel to other states, provinces, or countries; and
WHEREAS, the State of New York has legally recognized the basic equality of lesbian and gay people through the recent passage of the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, credit and the exercise of civil rights; and
WHEREAS, lesbian and gay couples and families are in need of the same legal protections as other families, in areas including, but not limited to, medical decision-making authority, hospital visitation rights, legal authority to decide the disposition of a partner’s bodily remains, access to family court, custody and adoption, employment benefits, disability benefits, Social Security benefits, housing, pension and death benefits, tax benefits, inheritance, property rights, healthcare, immigration, and provision of social services and credit; and
WHEREAS, there is no good reason to perpetuate the discriminatory exclusion of same-sex couples from civil marriage;
NOW THEREFOR, BE IT RESOLVED, that NYCLA supports equal treatment under the law of same-sex couples and families; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NYCLA supports equal civil marriage rights for same- sex couples; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NYCLA opposes any attempt to bar lesbian and gay couples from civil marriage and/or the legal incidents thereof, including any federal or state constitutional amendments and/or any federal, state or local legislation.