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December 2, 2009

NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION ISSUES STATEMENT ON DEFEAT OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LEGISLATION IN NYS SENATE

State Bar Association President Michael E. Getnick (Getnick Livingston Atkinson & Priore, LLP of Utica and of counsel to Getnick & Getnick of New York City) today issued the following statement expressing disappointment at the defeat of same-sex marriage legislation in the New York State Senate.

"Today's defeat of the same sex marriage bill in the New York State Senate is deeply disappointing.  We have lost an important opportunity to finally bring true equality under the law to all New Yorkers. The State Bar has long supported equal rights for same-sex couples. With strong leadership from Governor Paterson, the Assembly and a core group of Senators, we will continue to work hard to ensure passage of legislation that will afford tens of thousands of gay New Yorkers the same protections, responsibilities and dignity that married heterosexual couples have long enjoyed. We are discouraged by the vote today, but we shall continue to go forward with seeking to secure the rights and dignity of all citizens of our State.  It will remain one of our top legislative priorities," said Getnick.

The Association's House of Delegates this June adopted a resolution, sponsored by the Special Committee on LGBT People and the Law, chaired by Michele Kahn, Esq. (Kahn & Goldberg, LLP), to amend the state's Domestic Relations Law to give same-sex couples the right to marry and to recognize civil marriages that have been contracted elsewhere.

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Founded in 1876, the 76,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. The State Bar's programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.