State's Top Court to Hear Arguments on Same Sex Benefits

Lawsuit contends those benefits are unlawful

Tuesday, Oct 13, 2009  |  Updated 6:00 PM EDT
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State's Top Court to Hear Arguments on Same Sex Benefits

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Lower courts have previously upheld the benefits, saying New York generally recognizes marriages from elsewhere.

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New York's top court is set to hear arguments against providing government benefits to same sex couples married in Canada or other jurisdictions where such marriages are legal.

The state Department of Civil Service extended health insurance benefits to those spouses of state and local government workers in 2007. A year earlier, Westchester County agencies granted similar recognition and benefits.

The Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Tuesday by the Alliance Defense Fund of Scottsdale, Ariz., contending those benefits are unlawful in New York, which does not permit same-sex marriages.

Lower courts upheld the benefits, saying New York generally recognizes marriages from elsewhere unless specifically prohibited or found abhorrent to public policy.

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