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A08354 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2011-2012 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                      June 14, 2011
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A. O'DONNELL, GOTTFRIED, GLICK, TITONE, KELLNER,

          sored by -- M. of A. AUBRY, BOYLAND, BROOK-KRASNY,  CANESTRARI,  COOK,
          request of the Governor) -- read once and referred to the Committee on
        AN ACT to amend the domestic relations law, in relation to  the  ability
          to marry
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as  the  "Marriage
     2  Equality Act".
     3    § 2. Legislative intent. Marriage is a fundamental human right.  Same-

     4  sex  couples  should  have the same access as others to the protections,
     5  responsibilities, rights, obligations, and benefits of  civil  marriage.
     6  Stable  family  relationships  help  build  a  stronger society. For the
     7  welfare of the community and in fairness to all New  Yorkers,  this  act
     8  formally  recognizes otherwise-valid marriages without regard to whether
     9  the parties are of the same or different sex.
    10    It is the intent of the legislature that the marriages of same-sex and
    11  different-sex couples be treated equally in all respects under the  law.
    12  The  omission  from this act of changes to other provisions of law shall
    13  not  be  construed  as  a  legislative  intent  to  preserve  any  legal
    14  distinction  between  same-sex  couples  and  different-sex couples with
    15  respect to marriage. The legislature intends that all provisions of  law

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 8354                             2
     1  which  utilize  gender-specific  terms  in reference to the parties to a
     2  marriage, or which in any other way may be inconsistent with  this  act,
     3  be  construed  in  a  gender-neutral  manner  or in any way necessary to
     4  effectuate the intent of this act.
     5    §  3. The domestic relations law is amended by adding two new sections
     6  10-a and 10-b to read as follows:
     7    § 10-a.  Parties to a marriage.  1. A marriage that is otherwise valid
     8  shall be valid regardless of whether the parties to the marriage are  of
     9  the same or different sex.

    10    2.  No  government  treatment or legal status, effect, right, benefit,
    11  privilege, protection or responsibility relating  to  marriage,  whether
    12  deriving  from  statute,  administrative  or  court rule, public policy,
    13  common law or any other source of law, shall differ based on the parties
    14  to the marriage being or having been of  the  same  sex  rather  than  a
    15  different  sex.  When necessary to implement the rights and responsibil-
    16  ities of spouses under the law, all gender-specific  language  or  terms
    17  shall  be  construed  in  a gender-neutral manner in all such sources of
    18  law.
    19    § 10-b. Application. 1. Notwithstanding any other  provision  of  law,
    20  pursuant  to  subdivision  nine of section two hundred ninety-two of the

    21  executive law, a corporation incorporated under  the  benevolent  orders
    22  law or described in the benevolent orders law but formed under any other
    23  law  of  this  state  or  a religious corporation incorporated under the
    24  education law or the religious corporations laws shall be deemed  to  be
    25  in its nature distinctly private and therefore, shall not be required to
    26  provide  accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges related to
    27  the solemnization or celebration of a marriage.
    28    2. A refusal by a benevolent organization or a religious  corporation,
    29  incorporated  under the education law or the religious corporations law,
    30  to provide  accommodations,  advantages,  facilities  or  privileges  in

    31  connection  with  section ten-a of this article shall not create a civil
    32  claim or cause of action.
    33    3. Pursuant to subdivision eleven of section two hundred ninety-six of
    34  the executive law, nothing in this article shall be deemed or  construed
    35  to prohibit any religious or denominational institution or organization,
    36  or  any  organization  operated  for charitable or educational purposes,
    37  which is operated, supervised or controlled by or in connection  with  a
    38  religious  organization  from  limiting employment or sales or rental of
    39  housing accommodations or admission to or giving preference  to  persons
    40  of  the  same  religion or denomination or from taking such action as is
    41  calculated by such organization to promote the religious principles  for

    42  which it is established or maintained.
    43    §  4.  Section 13 of the domestic relations law, as amended by chapter
    44  720 of the laws of 1957, is amended to read as follows:
    45    § 13.   Marriage licenses.   It shall be  necessary  for  all  persons
    46  intended  to  be  married in New York state to obtain a marriage license
    47  from a town or city clerk in New York state and to deliver said license,
    48  within sixty days, to the clergyman or magistrate who  is  to  officiate
    49  before  the  marriage  ceremony may be performed.  In case of a marriage
    50  contracted pursuant to subdivision four of section eleven of this  chap-
    51  ter, such license shall be delivered to the judge of the court of record
    52  before  whom  the acknowledgment is to be taken.  If either party to the
    53  marriage resides upon an island located not less than twenty-five  miles

    54  from the office or residence of the town clerk of the town of which such
    55  island  is a part, and if such office or residence is not on such island
    56  such license may be obtained from any justice of the peace  residing  on

        A. 8354                             3
     1  such  island, and such justice, in respect to powers and duties relating
     2  to marriage licenses, shall be subject to the provisions of this article
     3  governing town clerks  and  shall  file  all  statements  or  affidavits
     4  received  by  him while acting under the provisions of this section with
     5  the town clerk of such town. No application for a marriage license shall
     6  be denied on the ground that the parties are of the same, or  a  differ-
     7  ent, sex.
     8    §  5.  Subdivision  1  of section 11 of the domestic relations law, as

     9  amended by chapter 319 of the laws of 1959, is amended and a new  subdi-
    10  vision 1-a is added to read as follows:
    11    1.  A  clergyman or minister of any religion, or by the senior leader,
    12  or any of the other leaders, of The Society for Ethical Culture  in  the
    13  city  of New York, having its principal office in the borough of Manhat-
    14  tan, or by the leader of  The  Brooklyn  Society  for  Ethical  Culture,
    15  having  its  principal  office in the borough of Brooklyn of the city of
    16  New York, or of the Westchester Ethical Society,  having  its  principal
    17  office  in Westchester county, or of the Ethical Culture Society of Long
    18  Island, having its principal office in Nassau county, or of  the  River-
    19  dale-Yonkers  Ethical Society having its principal office in Bronx coun-
    20  ty, or by the leader of any other  Ethical  Culture  Society  affiliated

    21  with  the American Ethical Union; provided that no clergyman or minister
    22  as defined in section two of the religious corporations law, or  Society
    23  for  Ethical  Culture leader shall be required to solemnize any marriage
    24  when acting in his or her capacity under this subdivision.
    25    1-a. A refusal by a clergyman or minister as defined in section two of
    26  the religious corporations law, or Society for Ethical Culture leader to
    27  solemnize any marriage under this subdivision shall not create  a  civil
    28  claim or cause of action.
    29    §  6.  This  act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall
    30  have become a law.
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