Press Room

February 04, 2005

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New York Marriage Ruling Is Historic Step Toward Full Equality

'The court simply recognized that every New Yorker deserves the same promise of equality under law,' said HRC's Seth Kilbourn.

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign lauded a historic New York court ruling today saying that same-sex couples must be allowed to marry. Lambda Legal brought the case on behalf of five same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses in New York.

"The court simply recognized that every New Yorker deserves the same promise of equality under law," said Seth Kilbourn, vice president for HRC's Marriage Project. "This is about real people who are being denied real protections and security without the right to marry. Ensuring that every loving and committed couple in New York has equal access to marriage is about ensuring New Yorkers' basic freedom. Congratulations to Lambda Legal and the plaintiff couples for their leadership in bringing us one step closer to full equality."

In the 62-page decision that will go into effect in New York County in 30 days, State Supreme Court Justice Doris Ling-Cohan said that the New York state constitution guarantees basic freedoms to same-sex couples and that those rights are violated when same-sex couples are denied marriage licenses. Justice Ling-Cohan was elected to office with strong bipartisan support. Because the New York State Supreme Court is a trial-level court, the city could appeal the ruling to a higher court.

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