Last month in Manhattan, a Supreme Court judge cleared two women married in Canada to sue for divorce.
Now the appellate court (New York's highest court) has ruled that the state must legally recognize valid out-of-state same-sex marriages. Patricia Martinez sued her employer, Monroe Community College, after it denied her request to extend health benefits to her spouse, Lisa Golden. The couple was married in Ontario in 2004.
Advocates for same-sex marriage say the two court decisions last month granting reciprocity in New York to gay marriages in other jurisdictions simply underline what most people would consider common sense.
"If a heterosexual couple got married in France and then came here, they would be married," said Jeffrey Wicks, a lawyer who represented Ms. Martinez in cooperation with the New York Civil Liberties Union. "We recognize foreign marriages, just the same as we recognize Mexican divorces."
New York State has become something of a proving ground for same-sex marriage reciprocity, because it's one of the few US states that hasn't passed a
Only Massachusetts allows same-sex marriage. Courts in Connecticut and California are considering the issue. Other states, including Vermont, New Jersey, Maine and Hawaii, have some not-quite-marriage, not-quite-equal legal union options.
More about the two New York State cases here in the New York Times.