New York/General Gay Rights Trend

Hey all,
I am a young gay guy in a long-term relationship and I am not quite sure what protections/rights I am entitled to.

We do not intend to offend or “redefine” any religious institution, but we do want to be able to establish a bond in a legal sense and have a private and meaningful relationship.

I am afraid that I will not be able to visit my partner if he ever is in the hospital, leave my retirement to him as one would do for any partner, and all of those important things we do for those we love.

I live in New York state but who knows where we will wind up. Is New York becoming fairly progressive in this area? Are most areas of the country at least giving basic rights/recognition of such relationships?
Thank you! Merry Christmas!


I don’t have any specific advice other than to find a good lawyer. They’ll walk you through getting the necessary paperwork and documentation to allay all of your worries. It’s a lot more work to set up a legal arrangement that is usually conferred through marriage but it’s doable. However, you won’t be able to get some things like tax breaks. But joint ownership of properties, power of attorney and both living and regular wills should handle everything you posted concern about. I don’t know how they transfer across state lines, that is definitely a question for the lawyers, of which I am not one.

Also, you may not get any replies for a few days, what with it being Christmas and all. Just sit tight and sooner or later, all your questions will be answered.

Lamda Legal’s New York page. Lambda has pages for each state.

New York state law does not allow for same-sex marriages to be performed in the state. Lambda says the state will recognize out-of-state marriages for insurance purposes but Wikipedia begs to differ.

Various jurisdictions within the state have domestic partner recognition which offer greater or lesser degrees of protection. Echoing what’s been said above, a lawyer who’s competent in the area of family law will be able to draw up wills, powers of attorney, etc. for you.

Here is NY state government’s website search results for domestic partnership.

From my brief scanning there are lot’s of things realted to health insurance and one’s rights as a city or state employee, but I didn’t see anything on general civil rights.

But there were 40 pages of results and I didn’t look that carefully. Good luck.

Also, you can name any person as the beneficiary of your 401k. Naming a beneficiary is part of the standard paperwork. I’ve named my brother at the moment.

You can also get power of attorney and power of attorney for care in the event that one of you ever becomes incapacitated. A freind of mine was orphaned rather young, and has no spouse, so right now, my sister and I have power of attorney and power of attorney for care, so if he ever gets sick, we can make decisions on his behalf at the hospital.

We’ve known him for years and he’s like a sibling to us.

ETA: Note, we’re in Canada, but there are equivalencies in the U.S. A lawyer should be able to help you out.

thanks for the info guys. It’s so confusing. Some of the info on wikipedia totally contradicts other sources heh…oh well

Go to HRC’s website and use the state law search page.