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February 13, 2008


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I don't think that FFCC has been interpreted ever to require a state to give full faith and credit to matrimonial licenses from another state where the receiving state's "strong public policy" would prohibit the marriage -- e.g., certain consanguinity issues might trigger refusal to recognize the out-of-state marriage.

The holding in New York is essentially that because same-sex relationships do not so offend the public policy of New York, comity dictates recognition of the marriage. (Because this is a Canadian marriage, the FFCC does not per se come into play at all.) Because each state defines its own public policy preferences in this regard, the decision will have little impact on the national issue. What the decision will do is provide further persuasive authority (like a similar RI decision, I think) for litigants who argue that their state does not have a sufficiently strong public policy against same sex marriage and thus, like in NY, the out-of-state marriage is entitled to recognition.

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