Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Marriage and the Full Faith and Credit Clause 

The NY Times has an interesting article that takes a look at how marriage has historically been handled under the Full Faith and Credit Clause, and speculates on how same-sex marriage would be treated.

Turns out that the Full Faith and Credit Clause generally has not been successfully used to force one state to recognize an out of state marriage if that marriage were "offensive to their public policies."

In another interesting twist the author, Adam Liptak, points out a paradox involving Massachusetts marriage law and NY marriage law according to AG Eliot Spitzer. Based on a 1913 law, a MA marriage license may not be issued to a couple whose home state would not authorize such a marriage. Spitzer stated in his recent opinion that under current NY law, same-sex marriages cannot be authorized in NY, but NY would be required to recognize same-sex marriages from another jurisdiction in which they are legal. So NY will not grant a marriage license to a gay couple, but will recognize a MA same-sex marriage, but MA cannot grant a license to a gay couple from NY. Huh.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:46 AM