January 28, 2009
New York Appellate Court Recognizes Out of State Marriage for New York State Health Insurance Purposes
In Lewis v. New York, 2009 WL 137504 (N.Y. App. Div. Jan. 22, 2009), the appellate court for the third division held that New York would recognize out of state marriages for purposes of State Health Insurance Purposes for spouses of state employees. The lawsuit began because individual taxpayers filed suit after the Department of Civil Services announced that it would recognize out of state same sex marriages for such purposes. Id. at *1. The court noted that marriages are valid if they were "'considered valid in the place where celebrated'", Id. (quoting Van Voorhis v. Brintnall, 86 N.Y. 18, 25 (1881)), absent a clear legislative intent to consider such marriages as void or an out of state marriage that is considered "abhorrent to New York public policy." Id. The court noted that New York does not have a mini-DOMA and does not consider same sex marriages contrary to its public policy. Id. at *3.