On Friday, June 24, 2011, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation granting same-sex couples the right to marry. Same-sex couples will be able to begin marrying in New York later this summer when the new law goes into effect on July 24.1 The new law offers marriage equality to more than 50,000 gay couples in New York State, affording them a number of state-based economic and legal benefits and rights that were previously limited to married couples of the opposite sex.
New York is now the sixth and most populous state to legalize same-sex marriage, joining Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa and New Hampshire, as well as Washington D.C.2 Rhode Island and Maryland recognize foreign same-sex marriages in certain contexts but do not statutorily permit same-sex marriage to be performed there; California remains in flux.3
Known to lawyers but perhaps not all clients, marriage is a state-based right that confers a "bundle of rights" on two individuals. Unfortunately, individual state recognition of same-sex relationships—whether in the form of a civil union, domestic partnership, or marriage—has no bearing at the federal level because the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) limits the definition of "marriage" to a union "between a man and a woman." This limited definition denies same-sex couples the automatic bundle of rights (more than 1,000 statutes and regulations, from joint filing of federal income tax returns to transferring fishing licenses between spouses) that are afforded opposite-sex married couples under federal law.
Complete article at Law : http://bit.ly/mtfXws