June 24, 2011
STATEMENT BY STATE BAR PRESIDENT VINCENT E. DOYLE III
ON PASSAGE OF BILL TO LEGALIZE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
"The state Legislature has taken a bold step toward
ensuring equal rights to gay and lesbian couples by allowing them to
"On behalf of the State Bar Association, I extend my congratulations
to the gay and lesbian community and all those who care about equal
treatment of all New Yorkers.
“Today’s vote is a tribute to the tenacity
of marriage equality supporters, and the courage of those legislators
who recognized the time had come to pass this law. It also is a tribute
to the leadership of Governor Andrew Cuomo. This much-needed legislation
was strongly supported by the State Bar and many other bar associations
around the state.
"In 2005, our House of Delegates called for granting same-sex couples
the same rights and responsibilities available to heterosexual couples
by legalizing either same-sex marriage, domestic partnerships or civil
unions. In June 2009, the State Bar, concluding that civil unions confer
an inferior status, endorsed legalization of same-sex marriage as the
only option for ensuring equal rights.
"For the State Bar Association, it came down to a legal issue--the
disparate treatment of a group of people because of who they are.
When the issue was debated within our committees and House of Delegates,
there was an overwhelming consensus that this discrimination was wrong
and that as lawyers, we should advocate its end.
"Passing this legislation was a top legislative priority for the State
Bar Association, because it concerns fairness and equity under the law
and it is sound public policy. Permitting marriage would relieve the
tens of thousands of same-sex couples in our state and their children
from the legal limbo that now surrounds them.
"I believe that the Association will look back at our advocacy as a
shining moment in our history."
The 77,000-member New York State Bar Association
is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was
founded in 1876.