NY High Court Upholds Benefits Rights for Same-sex Married Couples

November 20, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - New York's top court on Thursday rejected a Christian legal group's challenge to the provision of public employee benefits to same-sex couples legally married elsewhere.

In a 4-3 decision the Court of Appeals did not address whether the state must recognize same-sex marriage, according to a news report on Leagle.com. However, with Thursday’s court decision, legally married same-sex couples will be entitled to public employee health insurance coverage and certain other benefits provided to heterosexual couples.

The court ruling noted that while same-sex marriage isn’t legal in New York under the state Constitution, it doesn’t address whether New York can recognize a same-sex marriage legally performed in another state. In its decision the court urged lawmakers to clear up the matter.

The lawsuit challenged the granting of benefits by the state Civil Service Department and Westchester County, and was upheld in a lower court (see NY Court Rules to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages from Out-of-state ). The lower court’s ruling was challenged by the Alliance Defense Fund, which the news report said has made no comment about the latest decision.

More about the decision is here .