||NEW YORK COUNTY LAWYERS’ ASSOCIATION
14 Vesey Street, New York, NY 10007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Anita Aboulafia
(212) 267-6626, ext. 225 (phone)
NYCLA SUPPORTS CIVIL MARRIAGE RIGHTS FOR SAME-SEX COUPLES
December 9, 2003 – NEW YORK – A leading New York bar association that was founded nearly a century ago because of widespread discrimination practices by other bar associations, today announced the passage of a resolution that calls for equal treatment under the law for same-sex couples and families.
The New York County Lawyers’ Association (NYCLA), with some 9,000 members, also announced its opposition “to any attempt to bar lesbian and gay couples from civil marriage.”
The resolution, prepared by NYCLA’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Issues Committee, comes on the heels of last month’s ruling by Massachusetts’ highest court that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. The resolution refers to the comprehensive measures that have also been passed in Vermont, California and Hawaii, the Canadian provinces of Ontario and British Columbia, and Belgium and the Netherlands that give rights and responsibilities to same-sex couples and families up to and including civil marriage.
Michael Miller, NYCLA President, said, “The adoption of this important resolution is a reaffirmance by NYCLA that it stands for the principle of inclusion. While I recognize that for many people this is a difficult issue, this resolution is about fun damental fairness and equal treatment. For too long, same-sex couples have been deprived of basic rights, such as insurance, social security survivor benefits, and the like. This resolution is an important step toward equality of treatment under the law for gay and lesbian couples in loving and committed relationships.”
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New York State recently passed the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act, prohibiting discrimination in such areas as employment, housing, public accommodations, education, credit and the exercise of civil rights.
Ivan Dominguez, Chair of the LGBT Issues Committee, added, “This is a matter of critical importance to the struggle for full equality for the LGBT Community, which is a goal we believe to be consistent with, and embodied by, NYCLA’s mission throughout its proud history.”
The New York County Lawyers’ Association was founded 95 years ago as the first major bar association in the country that admitted members without regard to race, ethnicity, religion or gender. Since its inception, it has pioneered some of the most far-reaching and tangible reforms in American jurisprudence and has continuously played an active role in legal developments and public policy.