Gay man can inherit his husband’s estate, court decides in landmark ruling

From the NY Daily News:

In a landmark decision, a state appeals court upheld a ruling yesterday that a Manhattan man can inherit his husband’s estate.

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.

Gov. David Paterson ordered state agencies in 2008 to respect out-of-state gay marriages, and New York court decisions have recognized such marriages in cases arising in other contexts, such as health benefits.


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Greg Jeu

Greg Jeu is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of OutSmart Magazine.

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