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    May 29, 2008

    How to get married in New York state

    Posted by: Andoni

    As of today, the answer to this question effectively is: go to California, Canada, Massachusetts or any other jurisdiction where you can marry as a same sex couple and voila -- you will be married in New York state.

    Davidpatersonblog The New York Times reports today that Gov. David Paterson (the New York Democrat who replaced Eliot Spitzer) has ordered all state agencies to revise their policies and regulations to recognize same sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. For New Yorkers, the closest, easiest place to marry is Canada. Beginning June 17, many can also travel to California to marry. Massachusetts has a residency requirement which precludes outsiders unless they intend to stay and reside in Massachusetts or hail from a state that has no objection to same-sex couples marrying.

    At this point, any New York same-sex couple can become a married couple if they really want to. All it takes is a quick trip to Canada or California. As I noted in "How to get married in Calif.", in California it only takes one day. There is no residency requirement and no blood test.

    As much a 21% of the U.S. population lives in California, New York and Massachusetts. Very soon, one in five Americans will live in states that recognize marriage for gay couples. This is very important news, because  really, it is the beginning of the end of the ban against same sex marriage.



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    1. Scott on May 29, 2008 10:33:38 AM:

      Brighton, Ontario would be a fantastic place for a wedding.

    1. Alex on May 29, 2008 1:08:39 PM:

      One important rule to remember with Canadian marriages is that while there is no residency requirement for marriage, most provinces (Ontario and Quebec certainly) have a one-year residency requirement for divorce, so undoing a Canadian wedding (unless/until it's recognized by your state's divorce courts) is harder than doing one.

      Quebec marriages also require that the union be announced publicly at least 20 days before the ceremony. I believe you can arrange this remotely, so if you're planning to have a romantic wedding in Montreal, make sure you contact the officiant well in advance to do this crucial step.

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