Friday, September 29, 2006
Thursday, September 28, 2006
SUPPORT GROUP for Familes & Friends of GLBT's
The Capital Region Support Group for Families and Friends of GLBT persons, under the sponsorship of the Capital District Gay and Lesbian Community Council - Website: cdglcc.org - meets the second Tuesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. in the Fireplace Room of the Unitarian Society Building, 1221 Wendell Avenue, Schenectady.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
For more information go to: prideagenda.org
Are the marriages of same-sex couples legally recognized in New York?
According to New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and at least one trial court, New York government is required under longstanding legal precedent & practice to treat as fully married couples who have been legally married in another jurisdiction, including same-sex couples. In this way, a same-sex couple who has gone to Canada & gotten married is as married as an opposite-sex couple holding a New York marriage license.
The New York State Comptroller has recognized the legal marriages of same-sex couples for the purposes of the New York State Retirement System. Seven localities in New York State (Albany, Brighton, Buffalo, Ithaca, New York City, Nyack and Rochester) have stated that they will respect the legal marriages of same-sex couples. The pension systems of New York City municipal (??) employees are fully respecting the marriages of same-sex couples, as is the Local 295/Local 851 Welfare Fund of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters at JFK Airport. A number of private businesses and companies, including insurance companies like Allstate, Electric, Geico and State Farm, are also treating as married same-sex couples who have been legally married. What is the difference between civil unions, domestic partnerships and marriage?
Civil unions are an institution created by individual states (so far only Vermont and Connecticut) to give couples all of the rights and responsibilities that the state grants to civilly married couples.
Domestic partnership is the status granted by some public and private entities (such as an employer, or a local or state government) to legally recognize an unmarried couple. Sometimes domestic partnerships are catalogued in a public registry, like those offered in a number of New York localities including the City of Albany, Suffolk County, Westchester County and New York City. Some domestic partnerships create select rights and responsibilities for the couple. Other domestic partnership structures give no substantive rights at all other than having the partnership documented.
However, neither civil unions nor domestic partnerships are the same as marriage. So far only marriage has been explicitly recognized under federal law and among the states, and neither civil unions nor domestic partnership secure the federal rights and responsibilities such as Social Security survivor benefits, pensions, immigration rights and taxation advantages and obligations that come with marriage. It is also undetermined whether civil unions and domestic partnerships will be recognized outside of the jurisdictions that grant them, so that a same-sex couple who relocates or travels may not be able to take those rights with them as any civilly married couple does. There is also a far stronger precedence for private institutions like businesses recognizing civil marriage for benefits ranging from employee health insurance to bereavement leave to discounted health club memberships.
Is civil marriage the same thing as religious marriage?
No. Civil marriage is a relationship sanctioned by & licensed by the state. It does not require the blessing of any religious institution. Religious marriage is the spiritual blessing of a relationship by a church, mosque, synagogue or other religious institution. A religious marriage in New York State is not legally binding on the married couple unless they also secure a state marriage license.
Supportive and Informative LGBT Friendly Websites
What is GLSEN?
GLSEN is comprised of the "parents, family members and friends of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. and members of the GLBT community, who are committed to ensuring a safe, equitable and inclusive learning environment for our loved ones and all children" (PFLAG, 2000)
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Lesbian and Gay Rights Project
212 549-2627 http://www.aclu.org
For residents of Albany, New York and surrounding area:
PFLAG Capital Region NY
for membership information send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Capital District Gay & Lesbian Community Council, Inc.
Regardless of your location, CDGLCC's website contains a wealth of information - it's well worth the trip. http://www.cdglcc.org
More websites will be added very soon.
TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT PFLAG, AND TO FIND A CHAPTER IN YOUR AREA, GO TO THE THE FOLLOWING WEBSITE: http://www.PFLAG.org