Oo, creeping Massachusettsism...
The New York State decision related to Canadian same-sex married couples, but let's be provincial and put a Boston spin on it. Lambda Legal gets a double high five. It skunked the Dark Side's Alliance Defense Fund and got a widely applicable ruling on SSM and the state pension fund.
Don't you love it when the bad guys overreach and set precedent?
For a lesbian couple married in Canada, Peri Rainbow and Tamela Sloan, Lambda intervened in Godfrey v. Napoli. The same Court of Appeals in Albany that had ruled the state had the right to ban SSM, said it could not restrict state pensions because of that.
This never should have been an issue, except for the mean-spirited suit. In 2004, then state AG Eliot Spitzer backed up the state comptroller, Thomas D. Napoli, who had said that a legal marriage is a legal marriage as far as a pension is concerned. Some anti-gay sorts in Westchester County apparently figured to piggyback on the SSM decision and challenged extending retirement rights to Canadian SS couples. The new comptroller, Alan Hevesi, stepped right in and defended the call.
Judge Thomas J. McNamara wasn't swayed by the bad guys. He said the questions had nothing to do with each other. New York recognizes legal out-of-state marriages and the present AG and comptroller are right in supporting the previous decisions.
This is very Rhode Island-like in opening the window for marriage fairness and comity.
Evening Update: Leonard Link has the legal analysis, supporting the comity principles for foreign and Massachusetts SSM in the NY pension system.
Tags: massmarrier, Massachusetts, New York, same sex marriage, Lambda, pensions