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NYC judge finds
Massachusetts same-sex marriage void but upholds
separation agreement

NYC judge finds
Massachusetts same-sex marriage void but upholds
separation agreement

Gavel04_3

The marriage of two men in Massachusetts is not recognized by the state of New York, but an agreement the couple made for one to pay the other $780,000 if they split is valid and legally enforceable, a judge has ruled.

The marriage of two men in Massachusetts is not recognized by the state of New York, but an agreement the couple made for one to pay the other $780,000 if they split is valid and legally enforceable, a judge has ruled. The ruling, published Monday, came in the separation of lawyer David Gonzalez and real estate investor Steven Green. They moved in together in a New York City suburb in 2001, married in February 2005, and made the agreement the following September. Claiming cruel and inhuman treatment, Gonzalez sought a divorce in January 2006. Green wanted a ruling that they were never married and asked that the property he had given Gonzalez, including a ski house and two automobiles, be returned. Although the marriage was void in New York, which does not legally recognize same-sex unions, such agreements can be made "provided only that illicit sexual relations were not part of the consideration of the contract," state supreme court justice Phyllis Gangel-Jacob wrote. The judge said the agreement called for the ski house to be returned to Green if the couple broke up. Green's lawyer, Yonatan Levoritz, said he will file an appeal next week to try to get his client's $780,000 back. (Samuel Maull, AP)

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