After the New York Civil Liberties Union's victory in the same-sex marriage case Martinez v. Monroe County, New York Governor David Paterson has urged state agencies to change its policies to recognize the unions of gay and lesbian couples who are married out-of-state. Any agencies that do not honor these marriages will be in violation of the state's human rights laws, according to the governor's counsel, David Nocenti.
As California prepares to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on June 17, Gov. Paterson's decision is especially timely. The California Supreme Court's landmark decision in In Re: Marriage Cases cleared the way for gay and lesbian couples to marry in that state.
NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said in statement:
For the first time, couples in New York who have never known true security for their families will be officially entitled to treatment by our state government that respects their rights. They should now finally get a taste of the family protections other married couples and their children enjoy...Now it's time for our legislature to allow all of New York's families to live with dignity. New Yorkers shouldn't have to leave the state to protect their families.
You can read Nocenti's full order (PDF) to state agencies on the NYCLU website, and check out the video of Lieberman talking about the Martinez case.
Please let Governor Paterson know that you appreciate his support. His office is taking a poll. It will only take a minute to call (518) 474-8390 and say "I support the Governor's directive on marriage." Be sure to give your 5-digit zip code. And encourage your friends and family to call too.