Saturday, February 26, 2011

NEW YORK: Gay Man Wins Landmark Suit To Inherit Late Husband's Estate

This is good news for many reasons. Not only does this man get treated fairly but it sets up the argument for others in the same situation. Because of the patchwork of state laws and failure of the federal government to recognize same sex marriages, when a loved one dies there are no protections for the survivor. Often they lose everything because of inheritance taxes, no Social Security benefits or retirement, and often the other family takes everything.

crosspost from

A New York state appeals court has ruled that a gay man married in Canada has the right to inherit the estate of his late husband, despite claims by the husband's family that their marriage was invalid.
While same-sex couples can't wed in the state, J. Craig Leiby and H. Kenneth Ranftle were legally married in Canada, so Leiby is entitled to recognition as the surviving spouse in a dispute over Ranftle's estate, the appellate judges said. Ranftle died Nov. 1, 2008. His brother Richard contested the will and challenged the legitimacy of the marriage, saying it violated state policy.But the state Supreme Court's Appellate Division wrote, "New York's long-settled marriage recognition rule affords [recognition] to out-of-state marriages" that are valid where they are made.

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