Friday, February 22, 2008

County to Appeal New York Ruling that Recognized Canadian Same-Sex Marriage

Last weekend, we wrote about Martinez v. Monroe, a landmark decision of a New York State appellate court in Rochester that recognized a Canadian same-sex marriage as legally valid in the state.

Pursuant to the decision, Monroe Community College was required to provide spousal benefits to the same-sex spouse of one of its employees. The couple were married in Ontario.

Monroe County today announced its intention to appeal the decision:

In a case with national implications, Monroe County officials said this morning that they will appeal a state appellate court ruling in Rochester earlier this month that said New York must recognize same-sex marriages legally consecrated elsewhere.

The ruling is considered the first of its kind in the country.

“This is a clear case of misinterpretation of the law,” said Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks in a statement. “We must appeal this decision in order to protect Monroe County taxpayers. We can not simply extend benefits to unmarried couples and we certainly can not ignore the definition of marriage that currently exists under state law.”

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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