Rainbow Law has a document package designed to protect same-sex partners in New York. We offer 9 unique Affordable Document Packages, Individual Legal Documents and FREE Advance Directives to help protect your rights and the rights of your family. To order a legal document package that complies with New York law, hover your mouse over the “Buy A Package” link in the top menu and click on the package that best suits your needs in the drop-down list. If you’re not sure what package is right for you, click this link and we’ll help you figure out what you need.
New York recognizes the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry. And because the US Supreme Court overturned parts of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal government also recognizes LGBT marriages. This means same-sex married couples living in New York are eligible for all rights and benefits afforded to heterosexual married couples.
Here is a run-down on New York law affecting the LGBTQ community:
1 Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships: On June 24, 2011, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed the Marriage Equality Act allowing same-sex marriages to be performed in New York State. The law took effect on July 24, 2011.
Previously, New York recognized same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions since May 14, 2008, when Governor David Paterson issued an executive directive for all state agencies to recognize such marriages. New York City has recognized domestic partnerships since 1998, when Mayor Rudy Giuliani signed a law establishing them.
New York was the fifth state, after New Hampshire, and is now one of the sixteen states, along with the District of Columbia, that issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
To date, sixteen states – CA, CT, DE, HI, IA, IL, ME, MD, MA, MN, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VT, and WA – plus Washington, D.C. have the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.
2 Adoption Law: New York law allows an LGBT individual and same-sex couple to petition to adopt. An October 2012 court ruling in a custody dispute between two women in a same-sex relationship awarded custody to the adoptive parent rather than the biological mother.
3 Anti-Discrimination Law: In 2003, New York’s Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA) took effect. SONDA “prohibits discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, credit, and the exercise of civil rights.”On December 16, 2009, Governor David Paterson issued an executive order banning discrimination based on gender identity in state employment. The Hate Crimes Act of 2000 covers sexual orientation but not gender identity. Between 2008 and 2013, the state Assembly passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Bill (GENDA) six times. The state Senate Judiciary Committee has yet to vote on the measure. The Hate Crimes Act of 2000 covers sexual orientation but not gender identity.
4 Sodomy Law: All existing laws against private consenting homosexual sexual conduct between adults were abolished by the New York Court of Appeals in the 1980 case New York v. Onofre, with the exception of laws affecting employees of the New York National Guard. Repeal of the state National Guard’s restrictions took effect in 2000.
5Gender Identity: New York issues new birth certificates to persons born in the state who have undergone sex reassignment surgery, though the practice is not covered by state statute.
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