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April 16, 2009

 

Statement From State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli

on Governor Paterson's Legislation to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his strong support for Governor Paterson’s legislation to legalize same-sex marriage.

“Common decency, human dignity and basic equality triumphed in New York today,” DiNapoli said. “The relationships of gay men and lesbians should be respected and recognized by New York State. Gay couples should not have to jump through legal hoops just to protect their loved ones and their property. Governor Paterson’s legislation and leadership on this issue moves our state in the right direction. The Legislature should act now.”

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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