On February 1, 2008, a unanimous New York state appeals court ruled that the state is legally obligated to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages. The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) represented Patricia Martinez against her Rochester-based employer, Monroe Community College, which denied her request to extend health benefits to her partner, Lisa Golden. The couple had married in Ontario, Canada, in 2004, and the court maintained that New York had a history of recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages that could not be denied. The New York State Senate passed the Marriage Equality Act and Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill in June 2011, allowing same-sex couples to marry in the state.
Read an overview of Same-Sex Marriage in Features.