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May 29, 2008

 

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli

Statement on Governor Paterson's Directive to State Agencies to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

“Governor Paterson’s directive on same-sex marriages affirms the principles our nation was founded upon,” State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said. “Last year, I directed the New York State and Local Retirement System to recognize all same-sex marriages legally sanctioned in other jurisdictions. Now the rest of state government will do the same. This is an important step for New Yorkers who believe in fairness and equality for all.”

DiNapoli administers the Retirement System, which includes more than one million employees 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. This decision was upheld by the New York State Supreme Court. In September 2007, DiNapoli directed the New York State and Local Retirement System to recognize same-sex marriages conducted in any jurisdiction where they are legal.

Surviving spouses of the 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. The State Comptroller is the sole trustee of the Retirement System and the $154.5 billion Common Retirement Fund.

Click here for a copy of DiNapoli's press release on his September 2007 decision regarding same-sex marriages.

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