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Statement From State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli
on Vermont Legalizing Gay Marriage

“The Vermont Legislature voted overwhelmingly today to support all couples who want to get married. This a monumental step for everyone who believes in fairness and equality,” DiNapoli said. “The New York State and Local Retirement System already recognizes same-sex marriages legally sanctioned in other jurisdictions and will do the same for those couples married in Vermont.”

DiNapoli administers the Retirement System, which includes more than one million members, beneficiaries and retirees. In October 2004, the Retirement System recognized same-sex marriages conducted in Canada under the principle of comity, a legal doctrine that has been followed by New York State for many years. In September 2007, DiNapoli directed the Retirement System to recognize same-sex marriages conducted in any jurisdiction where they are legal.

Surviving spouses of Retirement System retirees may receive certain benefits that are not provided for non-spousal partners, including an accidental death benefit awarded in certain situations and a cost-of-living adjustment to monthly pension payments.

The Retirement System includes state employees and retirees as well as employees and retirees from local governments throughout New York State, not including New York City employees.

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