The Meyers Law Group, PC Articles Understanding the Marriage Equality Act

Understanding the Marriage Equality Act

By The Meyers Law Group  May. 2, 2012 3:32p

With the enactment of the Marriage Equality Act last year in 2011, New York became the sixth state to recognize and legalize same-sex marriage. Until July 24, 2011, the GLBT community was forced to settle with domestic partnerships or marriages from another state. Though the state of New York recognized out-of-state marriages, many believed that it was finally time to break down the walls and let New Yorkers wed as they please, regardless of sexual orientation. The Marriage Equality Act not only grants same sex couples in the state of New York the right to marry, but it also allows these couples to live virtually the same as any other married couple or family in New York. Allowing for same sex couples to have the same rights, privileges and obligations as other married couples in the state, the Marriage Equality Act is viewed as a large step forward for those in the GLBT community.

What is outlined in this act? The Marriage Equality Act of 2011 is actually an amendment of the Domestic Relations Law that changes the existing statutes in the state in favor of same sex marriage. Signed into effect in June of last year, the act essentially permits same sex marriage. In fact, it amends the existing law to state that a marriage is valid regardless of the sexual orientation or gender of both parties that are involved. It also states that there shall be no difference in government treatment, right, legal status, responsibility, benefit or protection that is offered in marriage due to the gender or sexual orientation of the parties involved. The Marriage Equality Act also continues on to mention that all gender-specific language that is referenced in New York statutes must be constructed in a neutral manner. Lastly, the law states that there shall be no denial of a marriage license due to the gender or sexual orientation of the parties who wish to wed.

While these are all beneficial in many ways to same sex couples throughout New York, there are still areas of the law that allow for discomfort and negative impacts. It allows religious entities and benevolent organizations to deny or refuse to perform a marriage ceremony or allow the use of their facility for a ceremony if their religious principles do not allow them to do so. Additionally, not-for-profit companies are exempt from cooperating with ceremonies should their religious principles forbid it.

If you or someone you love is in a same sex relationship and is looking to wed in the future, be sure to speak with a Long Island family lawyer right away. You and your partner will have all of the same legal obligations as every other couple that is planning on getting married in the state of New York. Whether you choose to sign prenuptial agreements or you are already married and are considering divorce, the Meyers Law Group is ready to help.

Contact a Long Island Family Law Attorney

At Meyers Law Group, the legal team has an extensive background in family and matrimonial law in the state of New York. The firm understands how difficult any legal process involving your family or your relationship can be and will stand at your side throughout the entire process. By working with a Long Island divorce attorney at the firm, you can find information about both same sex marriage and divorce topics, in addition to obtaining the legal support that you need during this time. The firm is ready to provide you with a consultation of your case, so do not hesitate to contact a Long Island family lawyer at the firm without delay.

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