Wednesday, June 24, 2009

NY State Bar Association Passes Resolution Supporting Marriage Equality

On the day that the New York state Senate may vote to legalize marriage equality, the New York State Bar Association announced that it has reversed its position on marriage equality and now states that true equality for LGBT relationships can only be found in marriage. The resolution was overwhelmingly passed with no voiced opposition.

In 2005 the bar voted in favor of a resolution stating the civil unions and domestic partnerships were equal, but four years later, they believe them to be separate and unequal. One of the delegates stated, "I think we've wasted four years."

The alternatives to marriage "[have] has not worked legally and [have] has not worked socially," Michele Kahn of Kahn & Goldberg in New York, chairman of the committee, told the delegates.

The committee observed that courts in other states had refused to sanction civil unions or domestic partnerships. Meanwhile, New York courts have declined to recognize civil unions or domestic partnerships contracted elsewhere by New Yorkers, since there is no equivalent in New York law.

The new resolution was backed by the State Bar's Special Committee on LGBT People and the Law, which argued in a 180-page report that "should New York wish to create equality between same-sex and opposite-sex couples, it has no choice but to reject the second-class model of civil unions and to endorse full marriage equality."

I wish the New York Senate would take heed to the bar's recommendation, but with all the squabbling in the chamber, I have a feeling it may fall on deaf years. But since they're full of surprises, such as virulently anti-gay Sen. Ruben Diaz crying to Liza Minnelli, you never know.

Let's just hope they actually cooperate long enough to vote.

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