Friday, April 24, 2009

New York Marriage Equality Bills Officially Introduced to Legislature

Sponsors of the marriage equality bills introduced the legislation to the state Legislature on Wednesday.

Here’s the main change in the language:

The domestic relations law is amended by adding a new section 2 10-a to read as follows:
3 § 10-a. Sex of parties.

1. A marriage that is otherwise valid shall be valid regardless of whether the parties to the marriage are of the same or different sex. No government treatment or legal status, effect, right, benefit, privilege, protection or responsibility relating to marriage, whether deriving from statute, administrative or court rule, public policy, common law or any other source of law, shall differ based on the parties to the marriage being or having been of the same sex rather than a different sex. When necessary to implement the rights and responsibilities of spouses under the law, all gender-specific language or terms shall be construed in a gender-neutral manner in all such sources oflaw.

The Senate bill, sponsored by Sen. Thomas Duane, D-Manhattan, has 18 Democratic co-sponsors: Adams, Breslin, Dilan, Espada, Craig Johnson, Klein, Krueger, Montgomery, Oppenheimer, Parker, Perkins, Savino, Schneiderman, Serrano, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousins and Thompson.

It will need 32 votes in the Senate.

The Assembly bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, D-Manhattan, has more, 53: Gottfried, Glick, Titone, Kellner, Silver, Bing, Rosenthal, Jeffries, Dinowitz, John, Kavanagh, DenDekker, Schimel, Sayward, Alessi, Aubry, Boyland, Bradley, Brennan, Brodsky, Cahill, Cook, Duprey, Eddington, Englebright, Farrell, Fields, Gianaris, Hevesi, Hoyt, Jaffee, Lancman, Latimer, Lavine, Lentol, Lifton, Lopez V, Lupardo, McEneny, Millman, Nolan, Ortiz, Paulin, Peralta, Pretlow, Rivera J, Rivera N, Sweeney, Towns, Weisenberg, Weprin, Wright, Zebrowski.
Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward (R-North Country) became the first Republican in history to cosponsor a marriage equality bill.

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