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Bill Text   -   A08590
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                           S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
       ________________________________________________________________________

                                         8590

                              2007-2008 Regular Sessions

                                 I N  A S S E M B L Y

                                     May 21, 2007
                                      ___________

       Introduced  by M. of A. O`DONNELL, GOTTFRIED, GLICK, HOYT, WRIGHT, HEVE-
         SI, KAVANAGH, V. LOPEZ,  LIFTON,  BING,  PAULIN,  MILLMAN,  N. RIVERA,
         ROSENTHAL, ALESSI, J. RIVERA, BENEDETTO, BRODSKY, ORTIZ, CAHILL, COOK,
         DINOWITZ,   L. DIAZ,  EDDINGTON,  JEFFRIES,  SAYWARD,  JOHN,  BRENNAN,
         FIELDS, JAFFEE, LAFAYETTE, PERALTA, LANCMAN, LAVINE, WEPRIN, ZEBROWSKI
         K, TITONE -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. AUBRY,  BOYLAND,  BRADLEY,
         ENGLEBRIGHT,  FARRELL,  LATIMER,  LUPARDO,  McENENY,  NOLAN,  PRETLOW,
         RAMOS, SCHIMEL, SWEENEY, TOWNS, WEISENBERG, YOUNG --  (at  request  of
         the Governor) -- read once and referred to the Committee on Judiciary

       AN  ACT  to amend the domestic relations law, in relation to the ability
         to marry

         THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
       BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

    1    Section  1. Legislative intent. Marriage is a fundamental human right.
    2  Same-sex couples and their children  should  have  the  same  access  as
    3  others  to  the  protections, responsibilities, rights, obligations, and
    4  benefits of civil marriage. Stable family  relationships  help  build  a
    5  stronger  society.  For  the welfare of the community and in fairness to
    6  all New Yorkers, this act formally recognizes otherwise-valid  marriages
    7  without regard to whether the parties are of the same or different sex.
    8    It is the intent of the legislature that the marriages of same-sex and
    9  different-sex  couples be treated equally in all respects under the law.
   10  The omission from this act of changes to other provisions of  law  shall
   11  not  be  construed  as  a  legislative  intent  to  preserve  any  legal
   12  distinction between same-sex  couples  and  different-sex  couples  with
   13  respect  to marriage. The legislature intends that all provisions of law
   14  which utilize gender-specific terms in reference to  the  parties  to  a
   15  marriage,  or  which in any other way may be inconsistent with this act,
   16  be construed in a gender-neutral manner  or  in  any  way  necessary  to
   17  effectuate the intent of this act.

        EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                             { } is old law to be omitted.
                                                                  LBD12030-02-7

       A. 8590                             2

    1    S  2.  The  domestic  relations law is amended by adding a new section
    2  10-a to read as follows:
    3    S 10-A. SEX OF PARTIES. 1. A MARRIAGE THAT IS OTHERWISE VALID SHALL BE
    4  VALID  REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE PARTIES TO THE MARRIAGE ARE OF THE SAME
    5  OR DIFFERENT SEX.
    6    2. NO GOVERNMENT TREATMENT OR LEGAL STATUS,  EFFECT,  RIGHT,  BENEFIT,
    7  PRIVILEGE,  PROTECTION  OR  RESPONSIBILITY RELATING TO MARRIAGE, WHETHER
    8  DERIVING FROM STATUTE, ADMINISTRATIVE  OR  COURT  RULE,  PUBLIC  POLICY,
    9  COMMON LAW OR ANY OTHER SOURCE OF LAW, SHALL DIFFER BASED ON THE PARTIES
   10  TO  THE  MARRIAGE  BEING  OR  HAVING  BEEN OF THE SAME SEX RATHER THAN A
   11  DIFFERENT SEX. WHEN NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT THE RIGHTS  AND  RESPONSIBIL-
   12  ITIES  OF  SPOUSES  UNDER THE LAW, ALL GENDER-SPECIFIC LANGUAGE OR TERMS
   13  SHALL BE CONSTRUED IN A GENDER-NEUTRAL MANNER IN  ALL  SUCH  SOURCES  OF
   14  LAW.
   15    S  3.  Section 13 of the domestic relations law, as amended by chapter
   16  720 of the laws of 1957, is amended to read as follows:
   17    S 13.   Marriage licenses.   It shall be  necessary  for  all  persons
   18  intended  to  be  married in New York state to obtain a marriage license
   19  from a town or city clerk in New York state and to deliver said license,
   20  within sixty days, to the clergyman or magistrate who  is  to  officiate
   21  before  the  marriage  ceremony may be performed.  In case of a marriage
   22  contracted pursuant to subdivision four of section eleven of this  chap-
   23  ter, such license shall be delivered to the judge of the court of record
   24  before  whom  the acknowledgment is to be taken.  If either party to the
   25  marriage resides upon an island located not less than twenty-five  miles
   26  from the office or residence of the town clerk of the town of which such
   27  island  is a part, and if such office or residence is not on such island
   28  such license may be obtained from any justice of the peace  residing  on
   29  such  island, and such justice, in respect to powers and duties relating
   30  to marriage licenses, shall be subject to the provisions of this article
   31  governing town clerks  and  shall  file  all  statements  or  affidavits
   32  received  by  him while acting under the provisions of this section with
   33  the town clerk of such town. NO APPLICATION FOR A MARRIAGE LICENSE SHALL
   34  BE DENIED ON THE GROUND THAT THE PARTIES ARE OF THE SAME, OR  A  DIFFER-
   35  ENT, SEX.
   36    S  4.  Subdivision  1  of section 11 of the domestic relations law, as
   37  amended by chapter 319 of the laws  of  1959,  is  amended  to  read  as
   38  follows:
   39    1.  A  clergyman or minister of any religion, or by the senior leader,
   40  or any of the other leaders, of The Society for Ethical Culture  in  the
   41  city  of New York, having its principal office in the borough of Manhat-
   42  tan, or by the leader of  The  Brooklyn  Society  for  Ethical  Culture,
   43  having  its  principal  office in the borough of Brooklyn of the city of
   44  New York, or of the Westchester Ethical Society,  having  its  principal
   45  office  in Westchester county, or of the Ethical Culture Society of Long
   46  Island, having its principal office in Nassau county, or of  the  River-
   47  dale-Yonkers  Ethical Society having its principal office in Bronx coun-
   48  ty, or by the leader of any other  Ethical  Culture  Society  affiliated
   49  with the American Ethical Union; PROVIDED THAT NO CLERGYMAN, MINISTER OR
   50  SOCIETY  FOR  ETHICAL  CULTURE LEADER SHALL BE REQUIRED TO SOLEMNIZE ANY
   51  MARRIAGE WHEN ACTING IN HIS OR HER CAPACITY UNDER THIS SUBDIVISION.
   52    S 5. This act shall take effect immediately.
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