HRC Blog

New York’s DiNapoli: Same-Sex Marriages Should Be Recognized, Regardless of Where the Couple Lives

Post submitted by David McCabe, HRC Digital Media intern.

New York State’s top financial official is calling on President Obama’s administration to enforce a standard that would recognize same-sex marriages as legal based on the state in which the couple was married, rather than the state where they currently live.

Thomas DiNapoli, the state comptroller, made the request in a letter sent to the president today in response to the recent Supreme Court ruling Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

"I have become increasingly concerned that companies that refuse to protect their employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, and those that exclude same-sex spouses from employee benefit plans that are available to opposite-sex spouses, are hurting their financial bottom line," DiNapoli wrote in the letter.

New York passed marriage equality in 2011, and thirteen states plus the District of Columbia now have laws on the books allowing same-sex marriages. Still, the need for DiNapoli’s letter underscores the existence of two Americas — one where LGBT equality is becoming a reality, and another where it is still far off.

In order to highlight this split, HRC President Chad Griffin toured five Southern states this month where many discriminatory statutes are still in place. While there, he met with local activists and supporters who are fighting for equality on the ground. But the problem of two Americas stretches much further than those five states — 37 states in the union, and countless LGBT Americans who live there, have yet to achieve marriage equality.

And right now in 29 states, there is no state law protecting a gay, lesbian or bisexual person from being fired just because of who they are – and the same is true in 33 states for transgender people.

The fight for equality will not be over until every LGBT American has access to the same basic rights as their non-LGBT friends and family members — no matter where they live.

Join HRC in calling on your senators to end workplace discrimination now, and to learn more about HRC's work on marriage equality visit the Marriage Center.

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