Laws

United States of America

NEW YORK

Limited information only available for these topics

Access to Children
Adoption of Children
Age of Consent
Aging
Anti-Vilification
Artifical Insemination
Assisted Reproduction
Bullying
Civil Unions
Custody of Children
Defamation
Discrimination
Estates, Wills
Fostering Children
Gender Identity
Harassment
Hate Crimes
Health, Medical
HIV/Aids
Homosexuality
Inheritance, Succession
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Marriage
Parenting
Partners
Property
Sodomy
Taxation
Transgender, Transsexual
Violence
Wills, Estates
Wrongful Death

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Aging, Bioethics Health, Medical Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [GENDER IDENTIY]
1.

State

On 07 December 2016, with immediate effect, transgender youth, including those under 18 years of age, living in New York State are now able to receive Medicaid coverage for transition-related medical care, including hormone therapy such as puberty blockers and gender reassignment surgery [D1.7], [R1.6].

On 06 February 2016, Govenor Andrew Cuomo was reported to have announced executive actions banning medical coverage for Conversion Therapy and the State Department of Financial services is issuing regulations that prevent New York insurers from providing coverage for conversion therapy given to an individual under 18 [ R1.5].

On 29 April 2015, the House of Assembly voted 111-26 to pass Bill A.4958, protecting minors from the damaging effects of conversion therapy. The Bill now goes to the Senate [R1.4].

On 19 June 2014, the Senate leadership ended the legislative session without allowing bills banning 'gay cure' therapy for minors, and protecting trans people from discrimination to go to a vote, effectively blocking the bills [R1.3].

On 16 June 2014, the State Assembly passed 86-28 Bill A06983 that would prohibit state-licensed health care professionals from trying to change the sexual orientation of clients under the age of 18. The Bill (S04917-B) has yet to be approved by the State Senate and signed into law [R1.2].

On 26 September 2011, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed S1303/A880 into law requiring the New York State Office of the Aging (NYSOFA) to assess the needs of elderly populations including those in LGBT communities. The law will also provide technical assistance and grants-in-aid to organizations that provide services to LGBT seniors [R1.1].

2.

Cities & Towns

On 14 July 2015, the US Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights and The Brooklyn Hospital Center jointly announced today that they have entered into a voluntary resolution agreement to ensure that transgender TBHC patients receive appropriate and equitable care and treatment, marking the first time the federal agency actively enforced a part of the Affordable Care Act that prohibits discrimination and calling for the hospital to make various changes to its policies, procedures and training [D2.3], [R2.2].

On 17 May 2014, Mayor Lovely Warren announced that the City of Rochester will add transgender health care benefits for employees and their families enrolled in the city medical plan. Effective 01 January 2015, city employees will be eligible to receive services related to gender reassignment surgery, such as medical and psychological counseling, hormone therapy and cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries [R2.1].

D1.7 Rule Making Activites: Transgender Related Care and Services No. HLT-40-16-00030-A PDF 337.59kb pages 5-7, 07 DEC 16
R1.6 LGBTQnation: Trans youth in New York now have Medicaid coverage for gender treatments 07 DEC 16
R1.5 Fox40, WICZ: New York State Bans Medical Coverage for Gay Conversion Therapy 06 FEB 16
R1.4 Out: New York State Assembly Votes to Ban Use of Conversion Therapy on Minors 30 APR 15
R1.3 PinkNews: New York Senate blocks 'gay cure' therapy ban, trans anti-discrimination bill 21 JUN 14
R1.2 TheAdvocate: Ban on Gay Conversion Therapy Clears NY State Assembly 16 JUN 14
R1.1 Outcome, Buffalo: Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Addressing The Needs Of LGBT Seniors 26 SEP 11
D2.3 Voluntary Resolution Agreement: US Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights and The Brooklyn Hospital Center No. 12-147291 PDF 271.66kb, 02 JUL 15 (document undated)
R2.2 LancasterOnline: Landmark settlement sets new standard for treating transgender patients 28 AUG 15
R2.1 Democrat & Chronicle: City to add transgender health benefits 17 MAY 14
Assisted Reproduction Technology
Artificial Insemination, In Vitro Fertilisation
Surrogacy
Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 04 October 2013, the Rockland County Family Court was reported to have rejected all attempts by a lesbian co-parent A.F. to challenge her former registered domestic partner K.H's refusal to allow her any contact with the children they had been raising together, citing Alison D. v. Virginia M., 77 N.Y.2d 651 (1991). KH conceived the children following using anonymous donor insemination [R1.1].

C1.2 Matter of A.F. v. K.H., V-00918-13
R1.1 GayCityNews: Lesbian Co-Parent Claim Precluded By 22-Year-Old Case 15 OCT 13
Children: Access, Custody, Visitation Legislation/Cases/Documents/References
1.

State

With the recognition of same-sex marriage, same-sex parents who break up have the same custody rights to their children as heterosexual couples. But non-biological parents should still consider adopting their child, especially if they ever see themselves moving out of state. A co-parent adoption should probably cost no more than $5,000 [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 14 April 2017, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Frank Nervo ruled that Kelly Gunn didn't have an ''unabated plan'' to adopt and raise a child with Circe Hamilton. Even though the women had discussed adopting a child together, by the time Hamilton went through with the process, she and Gunn had already split up and Gunn had stated ''on numerous occasions that she did not want to be a parent'' [C2.25], [R2.24].

On 10 March 2017, in a ruling that may have significance for same-sex couples, Suffolk County Supreme Court Judge H Patrick Leis III found that Michael Marano fathered a boy with downstairs neighbor Audria Garcia who now shares custody of the boy JM with Marano and his wife Dawn Marano. The ruling is the first time a judge in the state has granted tri-custody to three parents for one child [C2.23], [R2.22].

On 13 January 2017, it was reported that Supreme Court Judge Frank Nervo wrote ''This court finds that petitioner (Kelly Gunn) has established a prima facie case of parenthood''. Partners Kelly Gunn and Circe Hamilton broke up in 2009 and though Gunn did not formally adopt the 6-year-old child Abush, Judge Nervo found that Hamilton acknowledges Gunn's ''a parent-like relationship'' with the child. The sole custody case if proceeding [R2.21].

On 28 September 2016, Virginian businessman Philip Zodhiates was convicted by a federal jury in the US District Court, Buffalo of international parental kidnapping and conspiracy for helping Lisa Miller take her daughter out of the country to avoid losing custody to her former civil union partner Janet Jenkins. Zodhiates had driven Lisa Miller and 7-year-old Isabella Miller-Jenkins from Virginia to the Canadian border in 2009 so they could fly from Toronto to Nicaragua, and had helped with their living arrangements in the Central American nation. His sentencing is scheduled for 30 January 2017 [R2.20].

On 01 September 2016, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper ruled that Greenwich Village mom and British citizen Circe Hamilton cancel her plans to move to England with her 6-year-old adopted son until her former partner Kelly Gunn gets a chance to prove she also has parental rights over the boy following the 30 August state Court of Appeals ruling [C2.19], [R2.18].

On 30 August 2016, the New York Court of Appeals held that a person need not have a biological or adoptive relationship with a child to be considered a parent, giving such individuals legal standing to seek custody or visitation rights. The Court said a person can claim parenthood by presenting ''clear and convincing evidence that the parties agreed to conceive a child and to raise the child together'' [C2.17], [R2.16].

On 05 July 2016, the Court of Appeals indicated that it will take more time to decide the Matter of Brooke S.B. v. Elizabeth A. C.C., 91, and the Matter of Estrellita A. v. Jennifer D., 92, two cases involving the applicability of traditional notions of parenthood of children born to mothers in same-sex couples. In both cases, the women are seeking to assert visitation rights with children born by their former same-sex partners [R2.15].

On 06 April 2016, Justice Sheri S Roman in the Second Department of the New York Appellate Division affirmed the March 2015 decision of Suffolk County Family Court Judge Deborah Poulos recognizing the parental status of Kelly Steagall, a lesbian co-parent seeking visitation with two children conceived through donor insemination while she was a registered partner and later married to their birth mother, Farah Martin [C2.14], [R2.13].

On 30 June 2014, Nassau County Family Court Judge Edmund M. Dane ruled that despite New York's 2011 marriage equality law, a lesbian co-parent Jann P. cannot claim parental rights for a child John born prior to her marriage to the birth mother Jamie P., notwithstanding a separation agreement, which described John as “a child of the marriage” who would be raised by Jann and Jamie, with Jamie apparently having residential custody [C2.12], [R2.11].

On 02 April 2013, Suffolk County Family Court Judge Theresa Whelan in an opinion published 18 April 2013, ruled a biological mother who was awarded child support from her former same-sex partner cannot stop her from seeking custody by arguing she is not legally a parent [C2.10], [R2.9].


On 19 February 2013, Supreme Court Justice John C. Bivona ruled that that Mercedes Counihan had no parental rights with regard to her former partner Molly Bishop's biological child, Counihan never having adopted the child before the gay marriage laws took effect [R2.8].


In May 2010, the Court of Appeals reportedly had ruled that a woman who entered into a civil union with her partner in Vermont can apply for visitation rights for her nonbiological child following the couple's split [C2.7], [R2.6].


In May 2002, an appellate court in Brooklyn overturned a ruling that granted visitation rights over a biological mother's objections, to her lesbian former partner who helped raise their two children, ruling unanimously that only the state's highest court or the legislature can establish such an extension of visiting rights [R2.5].


In December 2000, New York state supreme court judge Marilyn Diamond granted a gay father custody of his 3-year-old son, ruling that the childís interests are best served by living with the father, and the surrogate mother was ordered to pay child support [R2.4].


In October 2000, a woman who helped raise two children was awarded permanent visitation rights. Associated Press reports that the rights were granted despite objections from the woman's ex-lover. It is considered to be the first ruling of its kind in New York [R2.3].


In July 2000, State Family Court Judge Joan O. Cooney entered new legal ground when she temporarily granted Janis C visiting rights - a first for a same-sex couple in New York State [R2.2].


In June 1998, a New York appeals court unanimously ruled that a lesbian had no legal standing to seek custody of her ex-partner's biological child [R2.1].

R1.1 Lawyer.com: Married, Same-Sex Parents Now Get the Same Custody Rights as Biological Parents in New York 27 OCT 11
2. Courts & Tribunals
C2.25 Opinion: K. v. C. 2017 NY Slip Op 27118 HTML 11 APR 17
R2.24 NewYorkPost: Woman loses landmark same-sex custody battle 14 APR 17
C2.23 Orders: Dawn M. v. Michael M. No. 00109/2011 HTM: 08 MAR 17
R2.22 NewYorkPost: Historic ruling grants Ďtri-custodyí to trio who had threesome 10 MAR 17
R2.21 NewYorkPost: Case moves forward in same-sex couple custody battle 13 JAN 17
R2.20 EdgeMediaNetowrk: Virginia Man Convicted in Vermont Same-Sex Kidnap Case 30 SEP 16
C2.19 Case (sealed): Kelly Gunn v. Circe Hamilton No. 309154-2016 01 SEP 16
R2.18 NewYorkDailyNews: Manhattan mom canít move to England with adopted son till ex-partner makes case for parental rights, judge rules 01 SEP 16
C2.17 Opinion: In the Matter of Brook SB v. Elizabeth A and In the Matter of Estrellita A v. Jennifer LD Nos. 92, 92 PDF 30 AUG 16
R2.16 ReutersUS: New York high court broadens definition of parent in landmark ruling 30 AUG 16
R2.15 NewYorkLawJournal: Court Postpones Rulings on Same-Sex Parental Rights 06 JUL 16
C2.14 Opinion and Order: In the Matter of Kelly S. v. Farah M D47796 PDF 76.98kb 06 APR 16
R2.13 GayCityNews: Brooklyn Appeals Court Affirms Lesbian Co-Parentís Claim 14 APR 16
C2.12 Case: Matter of Jann P. v. Jamie P., NYLJ 1202664272007 30 JUN 14 (published 23 JUL 14)
R2.11 Lesbian Co-Parentís Custody Denied, Child Left in Foster Care 08 AUG 14
C2.10 Order: Estrellita A. v. Jennifer D. 2013 NY Slip Op 23132, No. V-443-13. 02 APR 13
R2.9 ThomsonReuters: Same-sex parent who pays support can seek custody: judge 19 APR 13
R2.8 News12 Long Island: Custody battle involving Rep. Bishop's daughter spotlights NY gay marriage laws 19 FEB 13
C2.7 Debra H. v. Janice R. 930 N.E.2d 184), 04 MAY 10
R2.6 The Advocate: New York Court Affirms Gay Parental Rights 04 MAY 10
R2.5 The Advocate: Visitation Rights for Lesbian Mom Overturned 30 MAY 02
R2.4 The Advocate: Gay Father Wins Custody Battle with Surrogate Mother 13-16 DEC 00
R2.3 Sydney Star Observer: Custody Win for Lesbian 26 OCT 00
R2.2 New York Times: Decision Breaks Ground in Defining Family Ties 27 July 00
R2.1 FrontiersWeb Los Angeles: Ruled Out JUN 98
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 24 June 2002, President Bush signed legislation that allows death benefits for public safety officers killed Sept. 11 to go to a beneficiary other than an immediate family member [R1.1].

Up to now, the federal $250,000 death benefit was paid only to spouses, children and parents of fallen officers.

This is believed to be the first time a federal benefit would be available to a survivor in a gay partnership

2.

State

In April 2011, Department of Correctional Services regulations were changed (1) to allow conjugal visits ("family reunions") for gay prison inmates involved in same-sex marriages or civil unions; and (2) to allow gay prisoners to take leave from their cell when their loved one is terminally ill [R2.7].

In June 2010, a bill that would grant funeral or bereavement leave on the death of a same-sex partner passed the state senate 50–11. The Bill had already passed the Democratic-controlled assembly [R2.6].


In October 2004, New York State was moving to officially recognize same-sex marriages from Canada for the first time, at least in one limited area: State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi has ruled that the state's pension system will treat gay couples with Canadian wedding licenses the same way it treats other married couples [R2.5].


In October 2001, New York Governor George Pataki issued an executive order, granting the surviving partners of gay and lesbian victims of the September 11 World Trade Center attacks benefits equal to those of the spouses of heterosexual victims [R2.4].

Lesbian and gay survivors whose partners died in the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center will also receive workers' compensation under a state law that took effect 21 August 2002 [R2.3].

In December 2002 however, in two separate rulings issued less than two weeks apart, the New York State Workers' Compensation Board offered two divergent views on whether a gay man or lesbian who loses a domestic partner in a workplace-related death is eligible for "spousal benefits" [R2.2].

In May 2002, the New York state assembly and senate unanimously passed the September 11th Victims and Families Relief Act (A.11290, S. 7356), which includes recognition of same-sex partnerships [R2.1].

3.

County

In December 2001, legislators in Albany County approved medical insurance for county employees in domestic partner relationships [R3.3].


In November 2002, Westchester County opened its newly created domestic-partner registry which recognizes gay and lesbian couples for municipal services and guarantees visitation rights in hospitals and other institutions. A registration fee of $35 is payable [R3.2].


In July 2002, Suffolk County lawmakers proposed a registry measure.


In July 2003, Nassau County agreed to extend health insurance and other benefits enjoyed by married couples to the domestic partners of its employees, including those in gay and lesbian relationships, under the tentative contract deal reached with the Civil Service Employees Association [R3.1].

To qualify, the partners must be in a "committed relationship ... of lasting duration" and live together. They cannot have had a different domestic partner within six months or be married to anyone else. An employee and his or her partner would have to file a Domestic Partner Affidavit the county would design.

4.

Cities & Towns

New York City, Rochester and Ithaca municipalities have established domestic partner registries.


From 03 June 2010, New York City intends to offer more elaborate ceremonies for same-sex couples who register as domestic partners [R4.5].

In May 2004, the New York City Council approved legislation to require companies that contract with the city to offer domestic partner benefits to employees [R4.4].

In August 2002, the New York City Council has approved a bill extending domestic partnership rights to legally sanctioned, same-sex couples visiting New York [R4.3].

In July 1998, unmarried couples including gays and lesbians in New York City will be treated the same as those who are married under landmark legislation [R4.2].


In March 2003, Southampton's town board has voted to create a domestic registry open to any town resident who is unmarried, old enough to sign a contract, and willing to swear to provide emotional and economic support for a partner [R4.1].


In March 2003, East Hampton passed a similar measure in September, and both Huntington Town and the village of Greenport are considering registries [R4.5].

5.

Courts & Tribunals

On 04 April 2012, Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper granted Louis Viel's petition for dissolution of his Vermont civil union with Gregory Williams. Under Vermont law, couples seeking to dissolve a civil union must live in the state for one year before a final adjudication but New York Courts have exercised jurisdiction over such out-of-state unions as a matter of comity [R5.6].

On 21 July 2011, the Supreme Court, Appellate Division Third Judicial Department held in Dickerson v. Thompson that with the imminent emergence of same sex marriage in New York, New York gay residents may dissolve a Vermont civil Union in New York [C5.5], [R5.4].

On 18 July 2011, Justice Drager in the New York Supreme Court resolved the parental status of a civil union partner in ruling favorably on a motion for summary judgment to dissolve a Vermont civil union [C5.3], [R5.2].

In October 2008, a mid-level New York State appeals court in Albany heard arguments in a challenge to the state's health benefit policy for spouses of gay state workers [R5.1].

R1.1 Associated Press: Bush Signs Death Benefits Bill 24 JUN 02
R2.7 NYDailyNews.com: Conjugal visits allowed for inmates and partners in same-sex marriages, civil unions 23 APR 11
R2.6 The Advocate: Funeral Leave Bill Passes New York Senate 30 JUN 10
R2.5 New York Times: Pension System Recognizes Gay Spouses 13 OCT 04
R2.4 Melbourne Community Voice: Gay Survivors of NY Attacks Get Benefits 19 OCT 01
R2.3 CNN: Gay partners of 9/11 victims get benefits 21 AUG 02
R2.2 Downtown Express: Workers' Board Rules Two Ways on Gay 'Spouses' 18 DEC 02
R2.1 The Advocate: New York Legislature Passes 9/11 Bill 09 MAY 02
R3.3 Albany Times Union: County Lawmakers Approve $431.6M Budget 04 DEC 01
R3.2 365Gay.com: New York Suburb Opens Gay Domestic Partner Registry 29 NOV 02
R3.1 Newsday: Nassau puts benefits for unmarried partners in union pact 11 JUL 03
R4.5 The Advocate: "Marriage-Like" Ceremonies for NYC Domestic Partners 17 MAY 10
R4.4 Associated Press: New York City Passes Domestic Partner Benefits Bill 06 MAY 04
R4.3 Associated Press: New York Extends Domestic Partner Rights 15 AUG 02
R4.2 Capital Q: NY Domestic Partner Law 03 JUL 98
R4.1 Newsday: Town OKs Domestic Registry 12 MAR 03
R5.6 Thomson Reuters: New York judge dissolves Vermont same-sex civil union 04 APR 12
C5.5 Opinion and Order: Dickerson v. Thompson 511849 PDF 98.47kb, 21 JUL 11
R5.4 PRWeb: New York Divorce Lawyer Lisa Beth Older Summarizes Breaking News Allowing Gay Couples to Dissolve Civil Unions 08 AUG 11
C5.3 Supreme Court, New York County: Wesley v. Smith-Lasofsky 105819/10, 18 JUL 11
R5.2 Leonard Link: NY Court Reasons Through Parenting Issues in Dissolution of Vermont Civil Union 02 AUG 11
R5.1 The Advocate: New York Benefits for Gay Spouses Challenged 17 OCT 08
Defamation, Libel, Slander Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 18 June 2015, Judge Thomas Scuccimarra in the New York Court of Claims ruled that the State Division of Human Rights defamed Avril Nolan, a model whose photograph the Division purchased from Getty Images to use in advertisements informing the public that discrimination against people with HIV is unlawful in New York. the photograph carried the caption “I AM POSITIVE (+)” and “I HAVE RIGHTS”. Ms. Nolan is not HIV positive. On 06 March 2014, Nolan won a ruling before Justice Anil C. Singh in the State Supreme Court against Getty Images who refused to dismiss her complaint against Getty for selling her photograph without her permission [C1.6], [R1.5].

On 31 May 2012, the Supreme Court, Appellate Division Third Judicial Department overturned its own precedent and rejected those of the three other Appellate Division departments in abandoning a long-standing legal assumption that falsely labeling someone as lesbian, gay or bisexual is inherently defamatory [C1.4], [R1.3].

On 08 June 2011, Broome County Supreme Court Justice Phillip R. Rumsey determined that New York law still regards a “false imputation of homosexuality” as being defamatory per se, so the plaintiff can maintain his lawsuit without having to allege any financial damages [C1.2], [R1.1].

C1.6 Decision: Avril Nolan v. The State of New York No. 123283 18 JUN 15
R1.5 GayCityNews: New York Judge Finds False Claim Someone is HIV-Positive Defamatory 29 OCT 15
C1.4 Supreme Court, Appellate Division: Mark Yonaty v. Jean Mincolla, 512996 PDF 94.19kb, 31 MAY 12
R1.3 New York Law Journal (registration): Panel Finds False 'Gay' Label Is No Longer Per Se Defamation 01 JUN 12
C1.2 Supreme Court, Broome County: Yonaty v. Mincolla, 2011 N.Y. Slip Op 51037(U)
R1.1 GayCityNews: Still Defamatory After All These Years 22 JUL 11
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 20 January 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the coming into effect of new state-wide regulations prohibiting harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender identity, transgender status or gender dysphoria [L1.9], [R1.8].

The Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act or SONDA protects people from sexual orientation-based abuse, harassment, and discrimination in employment, housing, education, and public services [R1.7]. The law came into effect on 17 January 2003.

On 01 February 2013, Bills A04226 and S 00195, would were they to become law, prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression and include offenses regarding gender identity or expression under the hate crimes statute [L1.6].

Previously:

A proposed amendment to SONDA to add specific protections for transgendered residents--ranging from cross-dressers to people undergoing sex-change procedures--failed, 19-41.


On 19 June 2014, the Senate leadership ended the legislative session without allowing bills banning 'gay cure' therapy for minors, and protecting trans people from discrimination to go to a vote, effectively blocking the bills [R1.5].

In December 2002, Republican New York governor George Pataki signed the bill into law, outlawing discrimination against gay men and lesbians in the state, 31 years after advocates began lobbying for it [R1.4].

In October 2002, the leader of New York's Republican-controlled state senate said lawmakers will return to session in December to pass the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act [SONDA] [R1.3].

In January 2002, the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act was passed by the state Assembly after earlier being endorsed by the governor earlier [R1.2].

In February 2001, a bill to ban antigay discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodation cleared the New York state assembly 113-33 [R1.1].

2.

County

In December 2000, Nassau County legislature passed a bill making it illegal to discriminate against gay people [R2.1].

Westchester County has made anti-gay job discrimination unlawful. Nassau and Suffolk have amended their counties' human rights laws to protect gays.

3.

Cities & Towns

On 21 December 2015, New York City's Human Rights Commission released new guidance on gender identity and gender expression protections under the City's Human Rights Law to provide explicit examples to employers, landlords, business owners, and the general public on what the City considers discrimination under the law in housing, employment and public spaces [D3.7], [R3.6].

On 22 October 2015, TheAdvocate reported that Governor Andrew Cuomo would issue new regulations to make discrimination on the basis of gender identity, transgender status, and gender dysphoria in the areas of public and private housing, employment, credit, education and public accommodations unlawful under the state's Human Rights Law. The regulations will go into effect after a 45-day comment period [R3.5].

On 23 July 2015, the Troy City Council voted unanimously to protect transgender rights and to expand anti-discrimination protections by inserting gender identity or expression, ancestry, military status, sexual orientation, LGB and transgender in its city code governing anti-discrimination, fair housing, human rights, hiring, personnel policies and its public employment relations board. A final vote on the eight measures will take place at its August meeting [R3.4].

On 22 July 2014, Rochester Council voted to include gender identification and expression in the city's Municipal Codes (Order No. 2014-195). The change, which will extend to all housing, employers and organizations in the city and include finances and city services [R3.3].


In April 2002, Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law a bill that extended New York City's human rights protection, which already prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation, to explicity include transgendered people - a group that includes cross-dressers and people who have had or will soon have sex-change surgery [R3.2].


In September 1999, the City Of Buffalo Common Council amended Chapter 154 of the city code to provide relief for any person who experienced property damage and or physical injury or death due to discrimination or bias based upon race, creed, national origin, sex, disability, age or sexual orientation [R3.1].

4.

Courts & Tribunals

On 18 April 2017, the Court of Appeasl for the Second Circuit unanimously ruled that anti-gay discrimination is not prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of the 1964, citing the Simonton v.Runyon, 232 F.3d 33 (2d Cir. 2000) case. Donald Zarda (now deceased) sued Altitude Express asserting he was fired from his job as a skydiving instructor because of sexual-orientation discrimination in violation of New York state law and sex under ''Title VII'' [C4.23], [R4.22].

On 27 March 2017, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled anti-gay bias in the workplace is legal under Title VII of the Civil Rights of Act barring discrimination based on sex, but nonetheless handed a victory to openly gay and HIV positive Matthew Christiansen on the basis that the discrimination he faced amounted to illegal sex-stereotyping which the US Supreme Court determined is unlawful in the 1989 decision of Price Waterhouse v. Coopers, reversing and remanding the District Court decision [C4.21], [R4.20].

On 09 March 2016, US District Judge Katherine Polk Failla in dismissing the discrimination lawsuit filed by Matthew Christiansen found that precedent holding that federal law does not prohibit bias based on sexual orientation. Judge Failla said ''no coherent line can be drawn'' between sex stereotyping claims, which courts have recognized under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and sexual orientation discrimination claims [C4.19], [R4.18].

On 14 January 2016, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division affirmed 5-0 the determination of the State Division of Human Rights that the Liberty Ridge Farm proprietors had discriminated against Jennifer and Melisa McCarthy by refusing to host their wedding [C4.17], [R4.16].

On 08 August 2014, the New York State Division of Human Rights ruled that a wedding venue was in violation of the law when it refused to host a same-sex couple's wedding. The Liberty Ridge Farm has been ordered to pay $13,000 in fines and restitution to Jennifer and Melisa McCarthy for discriminating against them [C4.15], [R4.14]. The case is on appeal to the State Supreme Court [R4.13].

On 20 March 2014, the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 1st Department upheld an award of $1.6 million damages on a jury verdict rendered under the New York City Human Rights Law to Mirella Salemi, on her discrimination based on religion and sexual orientation claim against Gloria's Tribeca, Inc. and its owner, Edward Globokar [C4.12], [R4.11].


On 12 August 2013, US District Court Judge Shira Sheindlin concluded that the New York Police Department's “stop-and-frisk” tactics violated the constitutional Fourth Amendment rights of minorities to be free from unreasonable search and seizure and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. LGBT groups in the city and around the nation have spoken out in opposition to the policy, noting that it disproportionately targets LGBT people, especially those who are of color or gender-nonconforming [C4.10], [C4.9], [R4.8].


On 05 December 2012, Judge Carol Huff in the Supreme Court ordered that Mirella Salemi recover $400,000 emotional distress damages and $1,200,000 punitive damages plus interest from Gloria Tribecamex Inc., and Edward Globokar for discrimination based on religion and sexual orientation in violation of The Human Rights Law [C4.7].


On 03 December 2012, US District Judge Samuel Conti ruled that two New York realtors violated city law in their responses to a prospective tenant living with AIDS who sought an apartment with financial support from the HIV/ AIDS Services Administration (HASA), awarding the plaintiff, Keith Short, $20,000 in damages, and also awarding $5,000 in expense reimbursement to the Fair Housing Justice Center (FHJC) and issuing expansive injunctive relief against the defendants [C4.6], [R4.5].


On 08 February 2011, the New York Appellate Division, 2nd Department unanimously ruled that the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) in Northern Westchester County did not violate the Countyís Human Rights Ordinance when they extended domestic partnership benefits to same-sex partners of county employees but refused to extend the benefits to the unmarried different-sex partner of an employee [R4.4].


In January 2010, The Department of Justice asked a judge for permission to intervene in a 15-year-old student's lawsuit against Mohawk Central School District, who claims he was bullied for being effeminate [R4.3].

See also: Violence: Harassment 3. Courts & Tribunals [R3.8].


In July 2001, the Court of Appeals ruled that a lesbian couple should be allowed to sue Yeshiva University for bias based on sexual orientation for not allowing them share college housing available to married students [R4.2].


In October 2000, New York City agreed to pay a US$20,000 out of court settlement to Elizabeth Bryant, a former police officer who claimed in a lawsuit that she was discriminated against for being gay, together with US$30,000 in fees, bringing the total value of the settlement to US$50,000 [R4.1].

1. State
L1.9 New Regulations: Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity PDF 106.46kb 20 JAN 16
R1.8 Governor Andrew Cuomo: Governor Cuomo Announces New Regulations Protecting Transgender New Yorkers from Discrimination Take Effect Today 20 JAN 16
R1.7 The Advocate: New York Governor Signs Gay Rights Bill 19 DEC 02
L1.6 NY Legislature: Bill A 04226 01 FEB 13
R1.5 PinkNews: New York Senate blocks 'gay cure' therapy ban, trans anti-discrimination bill 21 JUN 14
R1.4 TheAdvocate: New York Governor Signs Gay Rights Bill 19 DEC 02
R1.3 Newsday: New York State Senate to Pass Anti-homosexual Discrimination Bill 13 NOV 02
The Advocate: New York Senate Set for Gay Rights Bill 24 OCT 02
R1.2 Rochester Democrat & Chronicle : Gay Rights Law More Imminent Than Ever 31 JAN 02
R1.1 The Advocate: Nondiscrimination Bill Clears New York Assembly 14 FEB 00
2. County
R2.1 The Advocate: New York County Outlaws Antigay Discrimination 13 DEC 00
3. Cities & Towns
D3.7 NYC Commission on Human Rights: Legal Enforcement Guidance on the Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Expression: Local Law No. 3 (2002); N.Y.C. Admin. Code ß 8-102(23) PDF 656.07kb, 21 DEC 15
R3.6 GayStarNews: target="_blank" >New York announces nation's toughest transgender anti-discrimination laws 22 DEC 15
R3.5 TheAdvocate: New York Governor Acts to Ban Anti-Transgender Discrimination 22 OCT 15
R3.4 TimesUnion: Troy moves to protect transgender rights
R3.3 Democrat & Chronicle: City Council expands definition of discrimination 23 JUL 14
R3.2 New York Times: Editorial: Civil Rights for the Transgendered 01 MAY 02
R3.1 Outcome: Buffalo Passes Anti-Bias Amendment 21 SEP 99
Courts & Tribunals
C4.23 Opinion: Melissa Zarda and William Allen Moore Jr v. Altitude Express and Ray Maynard No. 15-3775 PDF 190.78kb 18 APR 17
R4.22 WashingtonBlade: 2nd Circuit (again) finds anti-gay discrimination legal under Title VII 18 APR 17
C4.21 Opinion: Christiansen v. Omnicom Group Inc No. 16-748 PDF 225.83kb 27 MAR 17
R4.20 WashingtonBlade: Court finds anti-gay workforce bias legal, still rules for gay plaintiff 27 MAR 17
C4.19 Opinion and Order: Matthew Christiansen v. Omnicom Group Inc., et al. 15 Civ. 3440 (KPF) PDF 559.5kb 09 MAR 16
R4.18 ReutersUS: Judge tosses gay bias lawsuit but raises questions about precedent 10 MAR 16
C4.17 Opinion and Judgment: In the Matter of Cynthis Gifford et al., v. Melisa McCarthy et al. No. 520410 PDF 109.56kb 14 JAN 16
R4.16 NYCLU: Victory: Wedding Venue Cannot Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples 14 JAN 15
C4.15 Notice and Final Order: McCarthy v. Liberty Ridge Farm Nos. 10157952 & 10157963 PDF 7.85MB, 08 AUG 14
R4.14 ThinkProgress: Wedding Venues Cannot Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples 15 AUG 14
R4.13 abcNEWS: Venue Owners Appeal Fine for Denying Lesbian Couple Wedding 23 NOV 15
C4.12 Decision: Mirella Salemi v. Gloria's Tribeca Inc. et. al. 12024-12035 PDF 119.92KB, 20 MAR 14
R4.11 ArtLeonardObservations: $1.6 Million Damage Award Upheld in New York City Human Rights Religion/Sexual Orientation Case 20 MAR 14
C4.10 Opinion and Order Part II: Floyd v. City of New York 08-CV-1034 PDF 659.04KB, 12 AUG 13
C4.9 Opinion & Order Part I: Floyd v. City of New York 08-CV-1034 PDF 1.59MB, 12 AUG 13
R4.8 The Advocate: Federal Judge Rules NYC's 'Stop-and-Frisk' Policy Unconstitutional 12 AUG 13
C4.7 Judgment: Mirella Salemi v. Gloria's Tribeca, Inc. (d/b/a Mary Ann's) Case 117115/2007 PDF 163.86kb, 05 DEC 12
C4.6 Memorandum of Decision: Keith Short and Fair Housing Justice Center Inc v. Manhattan Apartments Inc and Abba Realty Associates Inc 11-CV-5989 (SC) PDF 152.24kb, 03 DEC 12
R4.5 GayCityNews: Court Finds Realtors Discriminated Against Man With AIDS 19 DEC 12
R4.4 Lesbian/Gay Law Notes: New York Appellate Division Rejects Discrimination Claim in Denial of Benefits to Public Employee's Different-Sex Partner PDF 337.90kb, MAR 11
R4.3 The Advocate: DOJ Steps in to Defend Gay Student 19 JAN 10
R4.2 Associated Press: Court Says Lesbians Can Sue College 02 JUL 01
R4.1 New York Times: Gay Officer Gets US$20,000 in Bias Case 13 OCT 00

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Estates, Inheritance, Property, Succession, Wills Legislation/Cases/References
2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 01 November 2016, Judge Nora Anderson in the Manhattan Surrogate Court issued a temporary injunction preventing four nieces and nephews of William Cornwell from selling the townhouse at 69 Horatio Street, New York County that he purchased in 1979 and where he lived in a garden apartment with his partner Tom Doyle beginning in 1961. The partners were unmarried and Cornwell had left the property to Doyle in his Will, which was defective having only one witness [R2.27].

On 23 October 2015, Judge Richard A Dollinger in the New York Supreme Court dissolved the 2003 Vermont civil union between Deborah O'Reilly-Morshead and Christine O'Reilly-Morshead but declined to apply New York Domestic Relations “marital” property law to distribution of civil union property acquired prior to their 2006 marriage in Canada [C2.26], [R2.25].

On 16 June 2015, Manhattan Surrogate Court Judge Nora Anderson found that Mauricio Leyton and David Hunter became committed partners in 2002 and in 2001, Leyton made a Will naming Hunter as the executor and stating Hunter was entitled to his personal property and one-half of the residuary estate. The partners broke up in 2006 and Leyton died in 2013. The Judge ruled that as the partners never married the Estates, Powers & Trusts Law 5-1.4 did not apply as it does in a divorce, revoking a Will's distribution to a former spouse [C2.24], [R2.23].

On 28 August 2014, Supreme Court Judge Debra A James ruled that Hunter Hill, boyfriend of deceased “Chronicles of Narnia” film producer Perry Moore, would not have to sell the couple's Soho apartment and give half of the money to Moore's family, finding that “Although no marital or other family relationship is present in this case, such is not essential for the existence of a confidential relation” sufficient to support a constructive trust [C2.22], [R2.21].

On 26 June 2013, the US Supreme Court released 5-4 decision in United States v. Windsor, Edith S, et al. ruling that DOMA Section 3 is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment and entitling same-sex partners to equal treatment in regard to Federal benefits [C2.20], [R2.19].

On 07 January 2013, the US Supreme Court set the case United States v. Windsor, Edith S, et al. for argument on 27 March 2013 [C2.18]. A decision was expected in June 2013.

On 07 December 2012, the Supreme Court indicated that it will hear the challenge by an elderly lesbian widow, Edith Windsor, against the Defense of Marriage Act (United States v. Windsor, Edith S, et al.) and another to the California marriage ban, called Proposition 8 (Dennis Hollingsworth, et al., Petitioners v. Kristin M. Perry, et al.). A hearing is expected in March and a decision in June 2013 [C2.18], [R2.17].

On 26 October 2012, the Justice Department filed a brief in the US Supreme Court seeking prioritization of the Edith Schlain Windsor v. USA case, perhaps suggesting that the “heightened judicial scrutiny” issue was the basis of the application [R2.16].

On 18 October 2012, the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York in Edith Schlain Windsor v. USA, found DOMA unconstitutional in a 2–1 ruling, holding that laws that classify individuals based on sexual orientation should receive a more exacting level of judicial review, known as “heightened scrutiny” [C2.15], [R2.14].

On 24 September 2012, the US Supreme Court distributed the case of Edith Windsor v. USA for a conference of the justices meeting privately that will decide whether the full Court will review the case [C2.13], [R2.12].

On 19 August 2012, Judge Robert Michael Mandelbaum who has been married to a man since 2011, was reportedly challenging the stipulation in his father Frank Mandelbaum's Will that his child will only receive his inheritance if Robert is married to a woman [C2.11], [R2.10].

On 01 August 2012, aided by Lambda Legal, a building landlord and management company agreed to settle a dispute and comply with city and state laws by putting both lesbian women's names on the lease for their rent-stabilized Harlem apartment [R2.9].

On 16 July 2012, the ACLU filed a petition asking the US Supreme Court to review the ACLU's challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act on behalf of Edie Windsor [C2.8], [R2.7].

On 06 June 2012, Judge Barbara Jones in the Manhattan Federal Court became the fifth judge to find the 1996 DOMA law unconstitutional, saying the law intrudes “upon the states' business of regulating domestic relations” and ordering $353,053 in federal estate tax be returned to the Plaintiff Edith Windsor [C2.6], [R2.5].

On 14 September 2010 Judge Kristin Booth Glen ruled that the late H. Kenneth Ranftle was domiciled in New York at the time of his death, rejecting a challenge to the probating of his Will brought by brother, Ronald Ranftle, who argued that the deceased was a Florida domiciliary where the deceased's marriage was not recognised, thereby affecting the status of the sole distributee and as executor of the estate under the Will [C2.4], [R2.3].

Previously

On 24 February 2011, a four-judge panel in the Appellate Division, First Department, held In re Estate of H. Kenneth Ranftle, 4214, that recognizing the marriage in Canada of H. Kenneth Ranftle and J. Craig Leiby, who was designated as Mr. Ranftle's 'surviving spouse and sole distributee,' did not violate public policy" [C2.2], [R2.1].

R2.27 GayCityNews: Tom Doyle Wins Halt to Sale of Home He, Husband of 56 Years Shared 03 NOV 16
C2.26 O'Reilly-Morshead v O'Reilly-Morshead 2015 NY Slip Op 25354, 27OCT 15
R2.25 NewYorkLawJournal: Judge Declines to Apply Marital Property Rules to Dissolved Union 30 OCT 15
C2.24 Opinion: in Matter of the Estate of Mauricio Leyton No. , 2013-4842 PDF 226.27kb, 16 JUN 15
R2.23 NewYorkLawJournal (Registration) Decedent's Former Partner Can Inherit Estate, Judge Says 23 JUN 15
C2.22 Opinion: William Perry Moore III v. Hunter Hill & Anor No. 150082/13 PDF 153.09kb, 28 AUG 14
R2.21 EdgeOnTheNet: 02 OCT 14
C2.20 Opinion: Edith Schlain Windsor v. United States et al No. 12-307 Word 320.65kb, 25 JUN 13
R2.19 The Advocate: Doma Unconstitutional; California Ban on Marriage Dead 26 JUN 13
C2.18 US Supreme Court: United States v. Windsor, Edith S, et al 12-307 (Accessed 09 JAN 13)
R2.17 The Advocate: Supreme Court to Hear Prop 8, DOMA Cases 07 DEC 12
R2.16 The Advocate: Justice Department Asks Supreme Court to Prioritize Edie Windsor Case 26 OCT 12
C2.15 Opinion: Edith S Windsor v. USA 12-2335-cv (L) PDF 198.29kb, 18 OCT 12
R2.14 The Advocate: Federal Appeals Court Rules DOMA Unconstitutional in Windsor Case 18 OCT 12
C2.13 US Supreme Court: Edith Schlain Windsor v. United States, et al. (Accessed 08 SEP 12)
R2.12 Prop8 Trial Tracker: Prop 8, DOMA cases have been distributed for September 24 conference at the Supreme Court 05 SEP 12
C2.11 New York County Surrogate's Court: Estate of Mandelbaum M 1339 (Attorney Anne Bederka)
R2.10 The Advocate: Man's Will Disinherits Grandson Unless Gay Son Marries Woman 19 AUG 12
R2.9 The Advocate: Lesbian Couple Win Battle With NYC Landlord 01 AUG 12
C2.8 Petition for Writ of Certiorari Before Judgment: Edith Schlain Windsor v. The USA PDF 370.13kb, 13 JUL 12
R2.7 ACLU: DOMA headed to the Supreme Court? 16 JUL 12
C2.6 ACLU: Edith Schlain Windsor v. The United States Of America, US District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 10-8435 PDF 174.93kb, 06 JUN 12
R2.5 Reuters: Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional: judge 06 JUN 12
C2.4 Weiss, Buell & Bell: In the Matter of the Application of Ronald J Ranftle, a person interested in the Estate of H. Kenneth Ranftle, 2008-4585 (Surr., N.Y.) PDF 285.82kb, 14 SEP 11
R2.3 GayCityNews: Another Challenge to Married Manís Will Nixed 12 OCT 11
C2.2 New York State Supreme Court: In re Estate of H. Kenneth Ranftle, Deceased Index 600714/07 PDF 1.02MB, at page 8, 24 FEB 11
R2.1 The Advocate: New York Court Rules for Gay Spouse in Inheritance Case 25 FEB 11
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual

[?]
Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [DISCRIMINATION]
1.

State

On 07 December 2016, with immediate effect, transgender youth, including those under 18 years of age, living in New York State are now able to receive Medicaid coverage for transition-related medical care, including hormone therapy such as puberty blockers and gender reassignment surgery [D1.16], [R1.15].

On 20 January 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the coming into effect of new state-wide regulations prohibiting harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender identity, transgender status or gender dysphoria [L1.14], [R1.13].

Previously:

There is no state-wide law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identification [R1.12].


On 17 December 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced proposed regulations to include transgender health care services under New York State's Medicaid program, providing treatment for hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery to individuals who are a minimum age of 18 or 21 years old. The public will have 45 days to comment on the proposed regulation [R1.11].

On 19 June 2014, the Senate leadership ended the legislative session without allowing bills banning 'gay cure' therapy for minors, and protecting trans people from discrimination to go to a vote, effectively blocking the bills [R1.10].

On 10 June 2014, for the seventh time the Assembly passed 78-44 the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) a bill to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression. The bill would also expand the stateís hate crime protections to explicitly include crimes against transgender people and now heads to the New York Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee [R1.9].

On 05 June 2014, the state Department of Health announced that residents born outside New York City are no longer required to produce surgical documentation of gender reassignment surgery, stating that sexual and reproductive organs had been removed. Instead, a letter from a licensed medical provider that states the applicant is receiving appropriate clinical treatment to transition from one gender to the other would suffice [R1.8].

On 01 February 2013, Bill A04226 and (on 09 January 2013) Bill S 00195 were introduced into the legislature, and would were they to become law, prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression and include offenses regarding gender identity or expression under the hate crimes statute [L1.7].

On 30 April 2012, the Assembly passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, or GENDA (A5039/S6349), for the fifth time in five years. It has yet to pass the Senate [R1.6].

On 08 June 2010, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, which would protect against discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression in areas like housing and employment, died in the senate judiciary committee [R1.5].

On 03 March 2010, for the third time the State assembly passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act 91–40. The Act would protect transgender people under the state's Human Rights Law. It has yet to pass the Senate [R1.4].

On 16 December 2009, governor David Paterson signed an executive order broadening nondiscrimination protections for transgender state employees in employment [R1.3].

On 21 April 2009, the New York State Assembly passed the Gender Expression Non-discrimination Act making discrimination based on gender identity and expression in employment, housing, public accommodations, access to credit, and other key areas unlawful. It also adds gender identity and expression as protected categories in the state's human rights law [R1.2]. The Bill was yet to pass the Senate Ibid.

In June 2008, the Assembly voted to include gender identity and expression in anti-discrimination protections in the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), passed by 102 votes to 33. It would ban discrimination against transgender people in housing, employment, credit and public accommodations, among other protections. The Bill has yet to pass the Senate [R1.1].

2.

Cities & Towns

On 27 December 2016, 55-year-old Sara Kelly Keenan was born intersex, with male genes, female genitalia and mixed internal reproductive organs, reportedlly received what is believed to be the first birth certificate ever issued in the United States that reads ''intersex'' in the gender field, instead of ''male'' or ''female'' [R2.16].

On 07 March 2016, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio issued an executive order, effective immediately, assuring that in city-owned buildings, transgender and gender-nonconforming people will be able to use the sex-segregated restrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities comforming with their gender identity [R2.15].

On 21 December 2015, New York City's Human Rights Commission released new guidance on gender identity and gender expression protections under the City's Human Rights Law to provide explicit examples to employers, landlords, business owners, and the general public on what the City considers discrimination under the law in housing, employment and public spaces [D2.14], [R2.13].

On 22 October 2015, TheAdvocate reported that Governor Andrew Cuomo would issue new regulations to make discrimination on the basis of gender identity, transgender status, and gender dysphoria in the areas of public and private housing, employment, credit, education and public accommodations unlawful under the state's Human Rights Law. The regulations will go into effect after a 45-day comment period [R2.12].

On 06 August 2015, the Troy City Council voted unanimously to approve several pieces of legislation creating legal protections against discrimination for transgender people, including in employment, housing and other aspects of life [R2.11].

On 23 July 2015, the Troy City Council voted unanimously to protect transgender rights and to expand anti-discrimination protections by inserting gender identity or expression, ancestry, military status, sexual orientation, LGB and transgender in its city code governing anti-discrimination, fair housing, human rights, hiring, personnel policies and its public employment relations board. A final vote on the eight measures will take place at its August meeting [R2.10].

On 12 January 2015, the Bill enabling transgender people to change the gender on their birth certificate without undergoing convertive surgery went into effect [R2.9].

On 08 December 2014, the New York City Council voted 39-4 (with 3 abstentions) to pass a bill that eliminates the 'antiquated' requirement for transgender people to undergo sex reassignment surgery in order to change the gender on their birth certificates, requiring only that a licensed health care provider state that an individual's true sex is not accurately recorded on their current birth certificate [R2.8].

On 01 December 2014, the New York City Health Committee unanimously approved a bill that would let anyone change the gender on their birth certificate provided they have documentation from a broad list of providers - including doctors, nurses, and therapists - that they identify with a different gender, paving the way for the full Council vote Monday [R2.7].

On 10 July 2014, signed into law bill Int 0253-2014 to create a municipal identification card for residents who face obstacles obtaining government-issued identification, making it easier for transgender people to self-designate their gender and obtain affirming documents. The card is expected to become available in January [R2.6].

On 19 November 2012, the city of Syracuse Common Council voted 7–1 to approve a bill to amend the existing Syracuse Fair Practices Law to include gender identity and expression as protected categories from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations [L2.5], [R2.4].

On 07 February 2011, the City of New York adopted a new policy to ensure that transgender people have equal access to marriage licenses. Once a marriage license applicant produces the required photo ID, the City Clerk may not request additional proof of sex. City Clerk employees are forbidden from considering the applicant's appearance or preconceived notions related to gender expression when deciding whether to issue a marriage license [R2.3].

In June 2008, transgender youth in New York's juvenile detention centers were allowed to wear whatever uniform they choose, be called by whatever name they want and ask for special housing under a new anti-discrimination policy [R2.2].

In April 2002, the New York City council on Wednesday voted 45-5 in favor of a bill to extend nondiscrimination protections to transgendered people [R2.1].

3.

Courts & Tribunals

On 20 December 2016, it was reported that a state appeals court had granted a legal name change for Ben Stanford, reversing a lower court decision that initially denied his name change petition because he declined to share ''medical evidence'' of his female to male gender transition [R3.14].

On 21 November 2016, in the first published decision since a 2015 change in New York's Civil Rights Law ß64 added a ''totality of the circumstances'' test to the name-change publication requirement, Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice James Hudson ordered that the publication requirement for a transgender individual JAL's name-change be waived, citing potential dangers to the safety of a transgender litigant [C3.13], [R3.12].

On 04 March 2014, with assistance of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, Michael David Puglisi obtained a fee waiver consent order enabling him to change his name to Mikell Davianna Puglisi. On 18 December 2013, Justice Ralph A Boniello III at Niagara Falls rejected her request for a fee waiver - not because she failed to meet income requirements - but simply because it was for a name change. New York provides fee waivers to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to the courts, regardless of income [C3.11], [R3.10]

On 21 March 2014, Judge Peter J Moulton in the New York Supreme Court ordered the city's Administration for Children's Services pay for D.F's: 1) full sexual reassignment surgery, 2) facial feminization, 3) tracheal shaving, 4) breast augmentation and 5) laser hair removal [C3.9], [R3.8].

On 16 March 2012, Justice Paul G Feinman in the Manhattan State Supreme Court severely criticised the health officials of the city for the complex bureaucratic requirements that trans men and women must negotiate in order to update details on their identity documents, reprimanding them for not providing a "clear, straightforward list" of what it takes to amend the birth certificate [C3.7], [R3.6].

On 17 and 22 March 2011, the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund filed lawsuits against the City of New York and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene challenging the city's practice of requiring transgender people to undergo surgery before it will issue them birth certificates with corrected sex designations [R3.5], [C3.4], [C3.3].

On 21 October 2009, Justices Douglas E. McKeon, Martin Schoenfeld and Martin Shulman in the State Supreme Court ruled that a transgender person seeking judicial permission to change her or his name should not be required to furnish medical documentation justifying the change [R3.2].

In January 2003, a district court judge ruled that physical anatomy is irrelevant to gender identity [R3.1].

1. State
D1.16 Rule Making Activites: Transgender Related Care and Services No. HLT-40-16-00030-A PDF 337.59kb pages 5-7, 07 DEC 16
R1.15 LGBTQnation: Trans youth in New York now have Medicaid coverage for gender treatments 07 DEC 16
L1.14 New Regulations: Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity PDF 106.46kb 20 JAN 16
R1.13 Governor Andrew Cuomo: Governor Cuomo Announces New Regulations Protecting Transgender New Yorkers from Discrimination Take Effect Today 20 JAN 16
R1.12 The Advocate: New York Governor Signs Gay Rights Bill 19 DEC 02
R1.11 Governor A Cuomo: Governor Cuomo Announces Proposed Regulations to Provide Medicaid Coverage for Transgender Care and Services 17 DEC 14
R1.10 PinkNews: New York Senate blocks 'gay cure' therapy ban, trans anti-discrimination bill 21 JUN 14
R1.9 LGBTQ Nation: New Tork state assembly passes gender expression non-discrimination act, again 10 JUN 14
R1.8 TimesUnion: Changing birth certificates eased for transgender people 05 JUN 14
L1.7 NY Legislature: Bill A 04226 01 FEB 13
R1.6 LegislativeGazette: Transgender protection bill passes Assembly 07 MAY
R1.5 The Advocate: Trans Rights Bill Lost in NY Senate Committee 08 JUN 10
R1.4 The Advocate: New York Assembly Passes GENDA 03 MAR 10
R1.3 The Advocate: N.Y. Extends Transgender Protections 16 DEC
R1.2 PinkNews.co.uk: New York State passes trangendered protection law 22 APR 09
R1.1 PinkNews.co.uk: New York State Assembly Passes Gender Identity Discrimination Bill 05 JUN 08
2. Cities & Towns
R2.16 NBC Out: Nation's First Known Intersex Birth Certificate Issued in NYC 29 DEC 16
R2.15 TheAdvocate: New York Mayor's Order Assures Restroom Access in City Buildings 07 MAR 16
D2.14 NYC Commission on Human Rights: Legal Enforcement Guidance on the Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Expression: Local Law No. 3 (2002); N.Y.C. Admin. Code ß 8-102(23) PDF 656.07kb, 21 DEC 15
R2.13 GayStarNews: New York announces nation's toughest transgender anti-discrimination laws 22 DEC 15
R2.12 TheAdvocate: New York Governor Acts to Ban Anti-Transgender Discrimination 22 OCT 15
R2.11 TroyRecord: City OKs transgender rights 09 AUG 15
R2.10 TimesUnion: Troy moves to protect transgender rights
R2.9 GayStarNews: Trans New Yorkers can now change gender on birth certificate without convertive surgery 14 JAN 15
R2.8 GayStarNews: New York City ends surgery requirement to change birth certificate 09 DEC 14
R2.7 DailyNews: Proposed bill to make changing gender on New York City birth certificates easier passes city panel 06 DEC 14
R2.6 PinkNews: New law allows New York City transgender citizens access to gender-affirming ID 10 JUL 14
L2.5 Draft Law: A Local Law of the City of Syracuse amending the Syracuse Fair Practices Law to extend protections to persons based on gender identity and/or gender expression PDF 87.76kb, 15 NOV 12
R2.4 LGBTQNation: Syracuse adds protections based on gender identity to 'Fair Practices Law' 19 NOV 12
R2.3 The Advocate: New York City Adopts New Policy for Trans Marriages 08 MAR 11
R2.2 The Advocate: Transgender-Friendly Policy Implemented in New York Juvenile Jails 21-23 JUN 08
R2.1 The Advocate: NYC Council Passes Transgender Protections 25 APR 02
3. Courts & Tribunlas
R3.14 TLDEF: Name Change Victory for Transgender Man in New York 20 DEC 16
C3.13 Opinion: Carver Middle School Gay-Straight Alliance, et al. v. School Board of Lake County, Florida 15-14183 PDF 102.36kb 06 DEC 16
R3.12 NewYorkLawJournal (registration): Name Change for Transgender Person May Be Completed Without Publication 06 DEC 16
C3.11 Consent Order: In the Matter of the Application of Michael David Puglisi No. 151766 PDF 52.82Kkb, 20 MAR 14
R3.10 TLDEF: Transgender Woman Secures Name Change After Judge Initially Denies Filing Fee Waiver Request 05 MAY 14
C3.9 Opinion: In the Matter of the Application of D.F. v. Gladys Carrion 400037/14, 2014 NY Slip Op 24078 21 MAR 14
R3.8 NewYorkPost: City must pay for foster kidís sex change: judge 03 APR 14
C3.7 NYSupCrt: Louis Leonard Birney v. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene 103363/2011 PDF 855.68kb, 19 MAR 12
R3.6 PinkNews: Judge criticises New York City over birth certificate change for trans man 26 MAR 12
R3.5 TLDEF: TLDEF Files Lawsuit Against New York City Over Refusal to Correct Transgender Birth Certificates 22 MAR 11
C3.4 Verified Petition: Sam Berkley v Thomas Farley in his official capacity as Health Commissioner of the City of New York 400715/2011 PDF 1.26MB, 17 MAR 11
C3.3 Amended Complaint: Joann Marie Prinzivalli v Thomas Farley in his official capacity as Health Commissioner of the City of New York 114372/2009 PDF 1.41MB, 22 MAR 11
R3.2 The New York Times: Ruling Eases Transgender Name-Change Process 21 OCT 09
R3.1 GenderPac National News: Sex is Irrelevant Says NY Judge 16 JAN 03
Hate Crimes Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [VIOLENCE]
1.

State

In July 2000, Gov. George Pataki signed New York state's new hate-crimes law. The law stiffens penalties for many crimes if they are motivated by bias against a victim's race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability or age [R1.2].

Previously:

In June 2000, both houses of the New York State Legislature today approved a bill to enhance penalties for hate motivated offenses, including crimes motivated by anti-gay hate [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 24 November 2014, Judge Read for the New York Court of Appeals concurred with a lower court which overturned Dwight R DeLee's conviction and prison sentence. DeLee was acquitted (2009) by a jury of simple manslaughter, but convicted of manslaughter as a hate crime, which carries steeper penalties, in the shooting of a transgendered woman in Syracuse. That Court found that the jury verdict was legally impossible because DeLee could not have committed manslaughter as a hate crime without also committing manslaughter. The court of appeal said prosecutors could seek a new trial for DeLee on the hate crime charge [C2.2], [R2.1].

R1.2 Associated Press: N.Y. Enacts Hate-Crimes Bill 10 JUL 00
R1.1 Empire State Pride Agenda: New York State Legislature Passes Hate Crimes Bill 23 JUN 00
The Advocate: New York Senate Passes Hate-crimes Legislation 08 JUN 00
C2.2 Opinion: The People &c., v. Dwight R Lee No. 198 PDF 26.27kb, 24 NOV 14
R2.1 LGBTQnation: New York court says state can seek new indictment in overturned hate crime case 25 NOV 14
HIV Aids Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [DISCRIMINATION]
1.

State

On 27 April 2010, the Senate voted to pass a bill protecting low-income New Yorkers living with HIV and AIDS from having to choose between paying rent and buying groceries. The bill went to Governor Paterson to sign it into law [R1.2].

In June 1998, the State Assembly passed legislation requiring New York doctors to report the names of people living with HIV and AIDS to state authorities and notify their sexual partners. However, patients refusing to give the names will not be penalised [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 19 February 2015, the New York Supreme Court ruled 4-1 that Terrence Williams, an HIV-positive man, who told a partner that they could safely have unprotected sex should face a misdemeanor “reckless endangerment” charge, not a “depraved indifference” such as to support a felony charge [C2.4], [R2.3].

On 15 November 2013, the Fourth Department of the (Supreme Court of the State of) New York Appellate Division affirmed a ruling by Onondaga County Supreme Court Justice John J Brunetti that reduced a felony charge against Terrance Williams - carrying a mandatory minimum prison term, for exposing another person to the virus by failing to disclose his serostatus before having unprotected sex - to a misdemeanor [C2.2], [R2.1].

R1.2 365Gay.com: NY Senate passes PWA rent-control bill 27 APR 10
R1.1 Capital Q: HIV Notification Bill Passes 26 JUN 98
C2.4 Memorandum: The People &c., v. Terrance Williams No. 4 PDF 17.04kb, 19 FEB 15
R2.3 LGBTQnation: New York court: Not disclosing HIV before sex is a misdemeanor, not a felony 20 FEB 15
C2.2 Memorandum and Order: State of New York v. Terrence Williams 1196 KA 13-00320 PDF 11.72kb, 15 NOV 13
R2.1 GayCityNews: Felony Charge Nixed in HIV Exposure Case 19 NOV 13
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 20 July 2016, it was reported that Supreme Court Justice Alice Schlesinge ruled that James Madison High School teachers Cindy Mauro and Alini Brito should not have been suspended for more than a year for alleged sexual activity in an empty classroom, upholding the one-year penalty for Brito and, finding nothing in the record to support the bad role model finding about Mauro, reduced the two-year suspension to one-year [R1.3].

On 26 April 2010, US District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin held the City of New York in contempt of court for failing to stop enforcing loitering laws that were ruled unconstitutional more than 20 years ago [R1.2].

On 12 August 2009, U.S. district judge Denny Chin ruled that claims about homosexuality have no place in a defamation lawsuit [R1.1].

R1.3 NewYorkPost: Teachers who had sex at school not bad role models: judge 20 JUL 16
R1.2 The Advocate: New York City in Contempt for Enforcing Old Laws Against Gays 27 APR 10
R1.1 The Advocate: Judge: "Gay" Not a Dirty Word 13 AUG 09
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 24 June 2011, the Senate passed the Marriage Equality Act 33–29. Religious institutions and nonprofit groups with religious affiliations are exempted. US citizens do not need to be a resident of the state in order to get married in New York. According to CNN, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law late Friday night just before midnight. The law will take effect on July 24 [L1.9], [R1.8].

Office of the City Clerk: Marriage License Application.

On 15 June 2011, the Assembly passed the Marriage Equality bill in a 80 to 63 vote for the fourth, and perhaps the final. The measure now awaits consideration by the Senate [L1.7], [R1.6].

On 10 May 2011, Assembly Member Daniel O'Donnell introduced A7600, the Marriage Equality Act, to establish equal rights, responsibilities, benefits and protections for all married couples, regardless of the sex of the parties to a civil marriage [R1.5].

Previously:

On 02 December 2009, the Senate voted down a marriage equality bill 38–24 [R1.4].

On 12 May 2009, the Assembly passed a bill to legalise gay marriage. If it passes a Senate vote, it will then go to the Governor David Paterson [R1.3].

In April 2009, Governor David Paterson confirmed he would introduce legislation to make gay marriage legal in the state [R1.2].

On 27 February 2004, New Paltz Mayor Jason West, a Latham native, bucked the system performing 25 same sex marriages on the lawn outside village hall. West was later charged with breaking the law and the state ruled the marriages invalid [R1.1].

In 1999, the legislature failed in an attempt to make void the lawful marriages between same-sex couples if they returned to, come to or travel through New York. Three previous attempts to prohibit marriages between same-sex couples have failed.

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 06 April 2015, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper reportedly allowed a nurse named Ellanora Baidoo to serve her elusive husband Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku with divorce papers via a Facebook message [C2.17], [R2.16].

On 26 June 2013, the US Supreme Court released 5-4 decision in United States v. Windsor, Edith S, et al. ruling that DOMA Section 3 is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment and entitling same-sex partners to equal treatment in regard to Federal benefits [C2.15], [R2.14].

On 23 October 2012, the State Court of Appeals declined to hear a challenge to the state's marriage equality law in New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms et al v. New York State Senate et al, effectively ending any threat to the measure passed last year [R2.13].

On 06 July 2012, the Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department dismissed the New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms claim that the Open Meetings Law was violated when the Governor and Mayor met Senate Republicans behind closed doors to discuss marriage legislation [C2.12], [R2.11].

On 26 July 2011, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed papers in US federal court in Manhattan saying the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, violates same-sex couples' right to equal protection under the US Constitution [R2.10].

On 18 May 2011, 2nd Appellate Department Acting Supreme Court Justice John Kelly of Suffolk County Supreme Court ruled that although a same-sex couple cannot get married in New York, not only will their valid marriage from another jurisdiction be recognized here, but the state courts will be available to them in case the marriage fails and they seek a divorce [C2.9], [R2.8].

In December 2010, State Supreme Court Judge Hugh A Gilbert granted a divorce to Dr. Daniel S. DeBlasio and Alan B. Tuttle, who had been legally married outside the state. The first such dissolution in Jefferson County [R2.7].

On 18 March 2010, the New York supreme court appellate division held that the state has the power to annul a civil union established in another state [R2.6].

On 19 November 2009, the New York state court of appeals, upheld the recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions where they are legal, in a ruling applying only to the specific cases under consideration [R2.5].

On 02 September 2008, the New York supreme court ruled that Gov. David Paterson acted within his gubernatorial powers when he issued an executive order requiring state agencies to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries. Same-sex marriage has yet to be legalized in New York State [R2.4].

In February 2008, a New York Appeals court ruled that civil unions and same-sex marriage must be recognised in New York [R2.3].

Previously:

In February 2005, a judge declared that a law banning same-sex marriage violates the state constitution, a first-of-its-kind ruling in New York that would clear the way for gay couples to wed if it survives on appeal [R2.2].


In September 2007, a New York state court upheld a decision to recognise Canadian same-sex marriage when it comes to the state's retirement system [R2.1].

1. State
L1.9 New York Senate: S5857-2011 24 JUN 11
R1.8 CNN: New York moves to become 6th state to legalize gay marriage 25 JUN 11
L1.7 Governor A M Cuomo: Marriage Equality Act 12066-04-1 PDF 256.68kb, 14 JUN 11
R1.6 The Advocate: New York Assembly Passes Marriage Equality Bill 15 JUN 11
R1.5 365Gay.com: Gay marriage bill introduced in NY State Assembly 10 MAY
R1.4 The Advocate: N.Y. Marriage Lost ... For Now 02 DEC 09
R1.3 PinkNews.co.uk: New York moves closer to gay marriage 13 MAY 09
R1.2 PinkNews.co.uk: New York governor confirms introduction of gay marriage bill 16 APR 09
R1.1 Associated Press: More Gay Couples to Marry in NY 28 FEB 04
2. Courts & Trbunals
C2.17 Opinion PDF 243.16kb: Ellanora Arthur Baidoo v. Victor Sena Blood-Dzraju No. 310947/2014, 2015 NY Slip Op 25096, [HTML] 27 MAR 15
R2.16 NewYorkDailyNews: Judge says Brooklyn woman can use Facebook to serve divorce papers 06 APR 15
C2.15 Opinion: Edith Schlain Windsor v. United States et al No. 12-307 Word 320.65kb, 25 JUN 13
R2.14 The Advocate: Doma Unconstitutional; California Ban on Marriage Dead 26 JUN 13
R2.13 The Advocate: New York Court Throws Out Challenge to Marriage Equality Law 23 OCT 12
C2.12 Opinion and Order: New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms v New York State Senate 644 CA 12-00313 PDF 26.78kb, 06 JUL 12
R2.11 Reuters: New York court dismisses gay marriage challenge 06 JUL 12
R2.10 Reuters: New York challenges Defense of Marriage Act 26 JUL 11
C2.9 Law.com: S.M. v. C.R. Index Number Redacted, NYLJ 1202494607706, at *1 (Sup. SU, Decided May 18, 2011)
R2.8 Gay City News: Lesbian Divorce Granted on Long Island 08 JUN 11
R2.7 Watertown Daily Times: County grants first same-sex divorce 03 FEB 11
R2.6 The Advocate: Court Grants New York Power to Annul Civil Union 19 MAR 10
R2.5 The Advocate: New York Court Upholds Marriage Recognition 18 NOV 09
R2.4 The Advocate: Judge Upholds Paterson's Marriage Recognition Order 06-08 SEP 08
R2.3 MCV: Gay Marriage Recognised in New York 07 FEB 08
R2.2 Associated Press: New York Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Struck Down 04 FEB 05
R2.1 MCV: NY ♥ Same-Sex Marriage 20 SEP 07
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 19 September 2010, governor David Paterson reportedly signed a law that allows unmarried partners, including same-sex couples, to jointly adopt children [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 13 January 2017, it was reported that Supreme Court Judge Frank Nervo wrote ''This court finds that petitioner (Kelly Gunn) has established a prima facie case of parenthood''. Partners Kelly Gunn and Circe Hamilton broke up in 2009 and though Gunn did not formally adopt the 6-year-old child Abush, Judge Nervo found that Hamilton acknowledges Gunn's ''a parent-like relationship'' with the child. The sole custody case if proceeding [R2.23].

On 01 September 2016, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper ruled that Greenwich Village mom and British citizen Circe Hamilton cancel her plans to move to England with her 6-year-old adopted son until her former partner Kelly Gunn gets a chance to prove she also has parental rights over the boy following the 30 August state Court of Appeals ruling [C2.22], [R2.21].

On 30 August 2016, the New York Court of Appeals held that a person need not have a biological or adoptive relationship with a child to be considered a parent, giving such individuals legal standing to seek custody or visitation rights. The Court said a person can claim parenthood by presenting ''clear and convincing evidence that the parties agreed to conceive a child and to raise the child together'' [C2.20], [R2.19].

On 05 July 2016, the Court of Appeals indicated that it will take more time to decide the Matter of Brooke S.B. v. Elizabeth A. C.C., 91, and the Matter of Estrellita A. v. Jennifer D., 92, two cases involving the applicability of traditional notions of parenthood of children born to mothers in same-sex couples. In both cases, the women are seeking to assert visitation rights with children born by their former same-sex partners [R2.18].

On 06 April 2016, Justice Sheri S Roman in the Second Department of the New York Appellate Division affirmed the March 2015 decision of Suffolk County Family Court Judge Deborah Poulos recognizing the parental status of Kelly Steagall, a lesbian co-parent seeking visitation with two children conceived through donor insemination while she was a registered partner and later married to their birth mother, Farah Martin [C2.17], [R2.16].

On 21 October 2014, Monroe County Supreme Court Justice Joan Kohout ruled that the biological father has the right to prove he is the father of a child born to a women married to another woman at the time she gave birth and that the standard rule in family law - that the legal spouse of a woman who gives birth to a child is presumed to be the child's legal parent - does not necessarily apply to same-sex couples [C2.15], [R2.14].

On 06 January 2014, Brooklyn Surrogate Margarita Lopez Torres in the “Matter of Seb C-M, X 2013≠21”, ruled that adoption by non-biological mother AC of the child Seb C-M, was “neither necessary nor available” under New York law. AC married birth mother MM in Connecticut in 2011. Both parent's names appear on the boy's birth certificate [R2.13].

On 27 December 2013, Surrogate Judge Rita Mella in the New York Surrogate Court granted gay man LEL's second-parent adoption petition of Ethiopian adoptee G, with co-adoptor KAL, even though they do not have a spousal or romantic relationship and do not live together [C2.12], [R2.11].

On 04 October 2013, the Rockland County Family Court was reported to have rejected all attempts by a lesbian co-parent A.F. to challenge her former registered domestic partner K.H's refusal to allow her any contact with the children they had been raising together, citing Alison D. v. Virginia M., 77 N.Y.2d 651 (1991). KH conceived the children following using anonymous donor insemination [C2.10], [R2.9].


On 18 July 2011, in dissolving a Vermont civil union, Justice Laura E Drager ruled, "Under the unique facts of this proceeding where the defendant did not form a parental relationship with the plaintiff's adopted daughter, and the parties to this civil union separated prior to the plaintiff's adoption of the child, the court finds that defendant has no parental rights or obligations with regard to the plaintiff's daughter, notwithstanding the fact that the adoption occurred during the existence of the civil union" [C2.8], [R2.7].


In May 2010, the Court of Appeals reportedly had ruled (4–3) that a woman has the right to seek child support from her former partner, even though she is not the biological parent [R2.6].


In August 2001, a Staten Island Surrogate Court Judge John Fusco ruled that a lesbian could adopt the twins of her lesbian partner [R2.5].

His ruling marks the third time an adoption has been approved to a same-sex couple in Richmond County, and the first for a lesbian couple.


In 1997, in the first case of its kind, a Family Court Judge allowed two lesbians, who used the same sperm donor to conceive their children, to cross-adopt each other's daughters [R2.4].


On 02 November 1995, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that a couple, homosexual or heterosexual, do not have to be married to adopt a child. Under the ruling, the adopted child of an unmarried couple is entitled to rights and privileges from both parents, including health benefits, Social Security payments and inheritances [C1.3], [R2.5].


On 02 May 1991, the Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the Appellate Division that the non-biological partner of the mother of a child is not a parent within the meaning of Domestic Relations Law §70, even though she had apparently nurtured a close and loving relationship with the child [C1.2], [D1.1].

R1.1 The Advocate: New York Law OKs Adoption by Unmarried Partners 21 SEP 10
2. Courts & Tribunals
R2.23 NewYorkPost: Case moves forward in same-sex couple custody battle 13 JAN 17
C2.22 Case (sealed): Kelly Gunn v. Circe Hamilton No. 309154-2016 01 SEP 16
R2.21 NewYorkDailyNews: Manhattan mom canít move to England with adopted son till ex-partner makes case for parental rights, judge rules 01 SEP 16
C2.20 Opinion: In the Matter of Brook SB v. Elizabeth A and In the Matter of Estrellita A v. Jennifer LD Nos. 92, 92 PDF 30 AUG 16
R2.19 ReutersUS: New York high court broadens definition of parent in landmark ruling 30 AUG 16
R2.18 NewYorkLawJournal: Court Postpones Rulings on Same-Sex Parental Rights 06 JUL 16
C2.17 Opinion and Order: In the Matter of Kelly S. v. Farah M D47796 PDF 76.98kb 06 APR 16
R2.16 GayCityNews: Brooklyn Appeals Court Affirms Lesbian Co-Parentís Claim 14 APR 16
C2.15 Decision and Order: Q.M. v. B.C. and J.S. No. P-13761-13 PDF 85.83kb, 21 OCT 14
R2.14 GayCityNews: Married Lesbian Denied Usual Parental Presumption 11 DEC 14
R2.13 NewYorkLawJournal: Lesbian Parent Denied Adoption Requested as Extra Caution 28 JAN 14
C2.12 Decision: In the Matter of the Adoption of A Child Whose First Name is G 27 DEC 13 PDF 126.05kb, 27 DEC 13
R2.11 WorldMag: Friends with parental benefits 09 JAN 14
C2.10 Matter of A.F. v. K.H., V-00918-13
R2.9 GayCityNews: Lesbian Co-Parent Claim Precluded By 22-Year-Old Case 15 OCT 13
C2.8 Supreme Court, New York County: Wesley v. Smith-Lasofsky 105819/10, 18 JUL 11
R2.7 Gay City News: When It Ends 18 AUG 11
R2.6 The Advocate: New York Court Affirms Gay Parental Rights 04 MAY 10
R2.5 Staten Island Advance: Island Court OKs Adoption by Lesbian Partner 02 AUG 01
R2.4 Melbourne Star Observer: Adoption Breakthrough 14 FEB 97
C1.3 In the Matter of Jacob and In the Matter of Dana, 86 N.Y.2d 651, 02 NOV 05
C1.2 In the Matter of Alison D., Appellant v. Virginia M., Respondent 77 N.Y.2d 651 (1991), 02 MAY 91
D1.1 Abby Lynn Bushlow: Information Packet: Gay & Lesbian Second Parent Adoptions PDF 163.04kb, MAY 04
Taxation Legislation/Cases/Documents/References
See also: [ESTATES]
1.

State

Due 17 April 2012, the State tax return takes its numbers from the federal return, so if your filing status is different for the state return from the federal return, which it will be for same sex couples, then you have to do multiple federal returns [R1.4], [R1.3].

As at 29 July 2011, same-sex married couples must file New York personal income tax returns as married, even though their marital status is not recognized for federal tax purposes [D1.2], [R1.1].

R1.4 NY1: Same-Sex Couples' Right To Marry Brings On Complex Tax Filings
R1.3 Dept of Taxation & Finance: The Marriage Equality Act (Accessed 04 APR 12)
D1.2 Department of Taxation and Finance: The Marriage Equality Act PDF 78.14kb, 29 JUL 11
R1.1 WBNG-TV News: Same-Sex Marriage Tax Information 01 AUG 11
Violence: Bullying, Domestic Violence, Harassment, Vilification Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [DISCRIMINATION]
1.

State

On 19 March 2012, the Board of Regents approved a regulation based on an interpretation of Education Law section 801-a, enacted in 2000, that exempted charter schools from state requirements "on civility, citizenship and character education", thus exempting charter schools from key provisions of the Dignity for All Students Act [R1.5], [R1.4].

In 2012, the State Legislature amended the Dignity for All Students Act to expand the types of prohibited bullying conduct covered by its provisions adding a proscription on bullying that applied to "any form of electronic communication" (Education Law § 11 [8]), including any off-campus activities that "foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment, where it is foreseeable that the conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse might reach school property" (Education Law § 11 [7])

On 08 September 2010, governor David Paterson signed the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA), a long-awaited anti-bullying law that, in a first for the state, includes protections for gender identity and expression. The law requires school districts to report incidents of bias and harassment to the state department of education, and includes provisions for teacher training and guidelines [R1.3].

In August 2008, ten New York Republican Senators introduced legislation to the State Senate that would ban homophobic bullying in schools [R1.2].

In July 2008, Governor David Paterson agreed to sign a major expansion of New York State's domestic violence laws, allowing family court judges to file civil protection orders against a broader range of abusers, including those involved in dating relationships [R1.1].

2.

County

On 08 November 2010, Albany County adopted “a Local Law Prohibiting Cyber Bullying in the County” [L2.1].

“cyberbulling” is defined as-

"any act of communicating or causing a communication to be sent by mechanical or electronic means, including posting statements on the internet or through a computer or email network, disseminating embarrassing or sexually explicit photographs; disseminating private, personal, false or sexual information, or sending hate mail, with no legitimate private, personal, or public purpose, with the intent to harass, annoy, threaten, abuse, taunt, intimidate, torment, humiliate, or otherwise inflict significant emotional harm on another person" [C4.16].

But, see Courts & Tribunals at [C4.16], [R4.15].

3.

Cities & Towns

In September 2008, a New York City Department of Education initiative "prohibits students from bullying other students for any reason, including taunting and/or intimidation through the use of epithets or slurs involving race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation or disability" [R3.1].

4.

Courts & Tribunals

On 03 December 2015, it was reported that subject to the judge's approval, a jury in New York City has awarded Raymond Rosas, a former restaurant supply truck driver, $2.2 million after he accused his former bosses Barry Rosenberg and Mark Balter at Balter Sales Co. of extreme sexual and racial harassment [R4.17].

On 01 July 2014, the New York Court of Appeals held by a majority that Albany County's Local Law No. 11 of 2010 (prohibiting cyber bullying) - as drafted - is overbroad and facially invalid under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment [C4.16].

On 23 February 2013, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals pointed out in Jeffrey A Burrows v. Seneca FoodsCorporation that Jeffrey's sex likely was a factor in the complained of harassment, since women weren't similarly singled out. The court sent the case back for a jury trial. It also noted that if what Jeffrey said was true, the supervisor's behavior could meet the test for pervasive or severe harassment [C4.14], [R4.13].

On 04 May 2012, in Redd v. NYS Division of Parole, 2012 WL 1560403 (C.A.2 (N.Y.)), Judge Amalya L. Kearse of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a district court's ruling dismissing the hostile work environment claim of a female parole officer, brought under Title VII, alleging several instances of a female supervisor touching her breasts [C4.12], [R4.11].

On 30 June 2011, a five-judge panel of the Appellate Division, 3rd Dept., ruled 4-1 that the Ithaca School District (a public school) is covered by the Human Rights Law and affirmed the Divison's award of damages and injunctive relief. The ruling disagrees with the 2nd Department's ruling in East Meadow Union Free School District v. New York State Division of Human Rights, 65 App.Div.3d 1342 (2009), leave to appeal denied, 14 N.Y.3d 710 (2010) [C4.10], [R4.9].

On 29 March 2010, a gay teenager who said he was the target of intense bullying from his classmates at an upstate New York public high school while school officials did virtually nothing reached an out-of-court settlement. The school district is required to hire an expert consultant on harassment and discrimination to review the district's policies. Annual training for faculty and staff is also required. And the district must file annual compliance reports with the U.S. government [R4.8].

In February 2010, the US Department of Justice for the first time since 2000, was seeking to intervene in a gay harassment lawsuit against a New York school district that it says raises important civil rights issues, arguing that Title IX of the antidiscrimination law affecting schools that receive federal funding, covers sex discrimination based on gender stereotypes [R4.7].

In October 2002, Northern District of New York federal U.S. Magistrate Judge Randolph F. Treece in Albany held that a claim of harassment based on sexual orientation is not actionable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 [R4.6].

On 22 August 2000, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled a gay postal worker who suffered severe harassment and "appalling persecution" for more than a decade had no recourse under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act because the abuse was based on sexual orientation, rather than sex [C4.5], [R4.4].

In March 2000, former Nassau County police officer James M. Quinn, who was awarded US$500,000 in a discrimination lawsuit against the cash-starved county finally collected his money, after his lawyer froze US$1 million in county assets [R4.3].

In June 1999, the former Long Island police officer James M. Quinn was awarded US$380,000 by a federal US District Court jury verdict because he faced antigay harassment [R4.2].

In April 1999, Supreme Court Judge John Leventhal ruled that a gay man who killed his lover can use the "battered-wife syndrome" as a defence at his trial [R4.1].

R1.5 State Education Department: Amendment of section 100.2(c) of the Commissioner's Regulations, Relating to Instruction in Civility, Citizenship and Character Education PDF 103.95kb, 12 MAR 12
R1.4 GayCityNews: Charter Schools Exempted from Key Parts of NYS Anti-Bullying Law 28 MAR 12
R1.3 PinkPaper.com: NY governor signs law protecting gay students 13 SEP 10
The Advocate: NY Governor to Sign Anti-bullying Bill 03 SEP 10
R1.2 PinkNews.co.uk: Anti-homophobic Bullying Legislation Introduced to New York Senate 14 AUG 08
R1.1 The Advocate: Expansion of New York Domestic Violence Laws to Cover Dating Relationships 12-14 JUL 08
L2.1 Albany County: Local Law No. "F" for 2010: A Local Law Prohibiting Cyber Bullying in Albany County PDF 111.25kb, Adopted 08 NOV 10
R3.1 The Advocate: NYC's School Antibullying Policy Given More Teeth 04 SEP 08
R4.17 TheAdvocate: Boss Allegedly Grabbed Man's Butt, Drew Penises on Paychecks, Must Pay $2.2M 03 DEC 15
C4.16 Opinion: The People v. Marquan M No. 139 PDF 34.80kb, 01 JUL 14
R4.15 PinkNews: Parents of gay suicide teen condemn repeal of cyberbullying law 05 JUL 14
C4.14 Summary Order: Jeffrey A Barrows v. Seneca Foods Corporation No. 12-970 PDF 18.91kb 25 FEB 13
R4.13 Business Management Daily: As courts define same-sex harassment, beware behavior that crosses a line 28 MAY 13
C4.12 US 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal: Fedie R Redd v. New York State Division of Parole 10-1410-cv PDF 77.02kb, 04 May 12
R4.11 Lesbian / Gay Law Notes: PDF 868.45kb, US (NY) JUN at 164
C4.10 Lambda Legal: Ithaca City School District v. New York State Division of Human Rights, No. 510106, 30 JUN 11
R4.9 Lesbian / Gay Law Notes: New York Upstate Appeals Court Finds Public Schools Are Subject to Human Rights Law PDF 652.99kb, JUL 11
R4.8 365gay.com: Gay teen settles out of court with school over bullying 30 MAR 10
R4.7 365gay.com: Gay NY teen's harassment suit gets federal notice 04 FEB 10
R4.6 New York Law Journal: Harassment Claim Based on Sexual Orientation Fails 01 OCT 02
C4.5 Simonton v. Runyon 2d Cir., No. 99-6180, 8/22/00
R4.4 Bureau of National Affairs: No Title VII Remedy for Harsh Harassment of Gay Postal Worker 28 AUG 00
R4.3 New York Times: An Ex-Officer Finally Gets Money in Suit on Gay Bias 14 MAR 00
R4.2 Boston Globe: N.Y. Police Officer Wins Antigay Harassment Lawsuit 18 JUN 99
R4.1 Adelaide Gay Times: Man Uses 'Battered-Wife' Syndrome as Defence 30 APR 99
Wrongful Death Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

In April 2003, Nassau County Supreme Court Justice John P. Dunne ruled that a gay man joined in a Vermont civil union can sue a hospital as the spouse of another man who died a year ago, in what is believed to be an unprecedented decision [R1.2].

Justice Dunne said that state law allows a common-law spouse from another state to sue for wrongful death and that same right should be afforded to a same-sex partner joined by Vermont's civil union law. He noted that state law does not define "spouses" as being of different sexes [R1.2].

Previously:

In January 2003, the New York wrongful death law was challenged by the man who alleges his partner died after routine surgery turned fatal [C1.1], [R1.1].

New York law allows spouses, children, parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and other specified relatives to sue for wrongful death.

R1.2 Associated Press: Gay Man Can Sue As Spouse of Deceased 15 APR 03
C1.1 Langan and Spicehandler -v- St Vincents Hospital
R1.1 365Gay.com: NY Suit Tests Gay Partners' Right To Sue For Wrongful Death 10 JAN 03

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