A mid-level court in New York has wiped out a lower court ruling denying spousal benefits to a retired school teacher, even though he and his partner were legally married in Canada.
The New York Appellate Division has vacated a lower court decision denying recognition of Canadian marriages for same-sex couples.
This ruling wipes out a trial court decision in Lambda Legal’s case on behalf of Duke Funderburke, a retired schoolteacher who was denied retirement benefits for Bradley Davis, his partner of 45 years, by the Uniondale School District. Funderburke and Davis had married in Canada in 2004.
While the case was on appeal, the New York State Department of Civil Service agreed to extend benefits to same-sex spouses of public employees covered under the New York State Health Insurance Program. The DCS policy covered Funderburke and Davis.
Now there is a consistent message across New York: out-of-state marriages for same-sex couples must be respected. This brings us one step closer to marriage equality in the Empire State.