The New York state court of appeals on Thursday upheld the recognition
of same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions where they are legal, although the narrow
ruling applies only to the specific cases under consideration and
leaves open the door to future challenges.
The cases, involving the extension of benefits to same-sex partners of government employees who wed out of state, arose in response to the executive order from Gov. David Paterson last year to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other places, which include Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa and Canada.
According to The New York Times, the ruling does not decide the broader issue surrounding recognition of same-sex marriages performed outside New York.
"In their majority ruling, four of the seven members of the court said they were making their decision on narrow grounds involving the specifics of each case, and not settling the broader question of whether same-sex marriages performed in other states should be recognized," reportedthe Times. "Judge Eugene F. Pigott Jr., writing for the majority, expressed 'hope that the Legislature will address this controversy.'
But in a concurring decision, three of the justices said that the court should have addressed the wider issue because New York law already allows for the recognition of marriages that are considered legal elsewhere."