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August 10, 2010

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE RESOLUTION SPONSORED BY NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION IS ADOPTED BY AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION

Albany, NY - As a lead sponsor of a history-making resolution urging all state, territorial, and tribal governments to eliminate legal barriers to civil marriage between two persons of the same sex, the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) hailed the resolution's adoption today by the American Bar Association (ABA) at its annual meeting held in San Francisco.

According to a report submitted in support of the resolution, the extension of equal marriage rights to same-sex couples is consistent with constitutional principles of equal protection and due process, as well as the states' strong interest in protecting and fostering the family unit.

"The historic action taken today represents another promising step on the path toward equal rights for same-sex couples," said NYSBA President Stephen P. Younger of New York (Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP). "NYSBA has been a leader in advocating that same-sex couples be allowed to marry, and it will continue the fight until this goal is achieved both in New York and across the country. I want to commend the members of the American Bar Association's House of Delegates for working with the New York State Bar Association and other bar associations to help in the effort to end this injustice against lesbian and gay people and their families."

The New York State Bar Association strongly supports equal rights for same-sex couples and made it a top state legislative priority in the 2010 legislative session. In 2009, the NYSBA's House of Delegates adopted a resolution calling for an amendment to New York's Domestic Relations Law that would give same-sex couples the right to marry and require New York to recognize civil marriages contracted elsewhere. The State Assembly has voted in support of same-sex marriage and Governor Paterson supports this change.

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The 77,000-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. Founded in 1876, State Bar programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years. For more information, please visit www.nysba.org.