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New York same-sex marriage law

June 26, 2011

Photograph: Guardian

In recent months there has been considerable progress in terms of gay rights in the United States. First, the Congress repealed the military policy of ‘don’t ask don’t tell‘. Then President Obama directed the Justice Department not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act  (DOMA) in the court. This federal Act prohibits recognition of the same-sex marriage. And recently, the state of New York signed the bill of same-sex marriage into law.

While on June 17, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed first resolution condemning the discrimination faced by the gay people. Such support at an international level will bolster the legal and political struggle for equal rights by the gay community domestically.

For a brief description of status of the same-sex marriage in the United States, I came across this blog. I am quoting it here:

Five states grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire.

Rhode Island and New York, along with Maryland, recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois and New Jersey allow civil unions.

Other states provide some or all of the state-level spousal rights to same-sex couples: California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Maine and Wisconsin.

California, of course, is the complicated one: In 2008, voters approved Prop 8, which says that only marriages between a man and a woman are valid there. That was challenged by lawsuits, but the state Supreme Court rejected them. Then a federal judge overturned Prop 8 in a separate case, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit is considering that ruling. Same-sex couples that were married before Proposition 8 passed are still recognized as such, though new same-sex marriages aren’t permitted.

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