On the way home from work in Rochester, Patricia Martinez stopped at a liquor store and bought a small bottle of Champagne to celebrate her marriage to another woman. The wedding took place in Canada nearly four years ago, but it wasn’t until Feb. 1 that a New York appellate court declared it valid in the state.
Last week in Manhattan, a State Supreme Court justice, ruling in a divorce proceeding, recognized the Canadian marriage of two New York City women, known publicly as Beth R. and Donna M. - or Mom and Mommy to the two young children they had been raising together.
Less than two years after New York’s highest court refused to legalize gay marriage, leaving it up to a divided Legislature, courts in Rochester and Manhattan, as well as state and local officials, have begun to carry out what some say is the de facto legalization of gay marriage - and gay divorce - in New York for the price of, say, a ticket to Toronto.
Advocates for same-sex marriage say the two court decisions last month granting reciprocity in New York to gay marriages in other jurisdictions simply underline what most people would consider common sense.