New York State Bar Association unveils 2011 state legislative priorities including marriage equality

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"As the State Legislature begins its 2011 session, the New York State Bar Association today called on lawmakers to provide greater access to the justice system for the indigent, to ensure that marriage equality is afforded to same-sex couples, and to reform government ethics.

"'A core mission of the State Bar Association is to provide a voice for members of the legal profession and for the public,' said President Stephen P. Younger of New York (Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP). 'Whether it is advocating for effective counsel for indigent New Yorkers or seeking equal legal rights for all citizens, we are committed to enhancing citizens' trust and confidence in our justice system and government institutions. We look forward to working with Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature to ensure that every New Yorker has full and equal access to the justice system.'

"The State Bar's legislative priorities include:

... "Marriage Equality for Same-Sex Couples. Under current state law, there are significant differences in the legal treatment of marital relationships and committed same-sex relationships in a wide range of matters such as property rights, financial support, responsibilities to children, health care, social security, long-term care, domestic violence, access to the court system, and other issues. The Association continues to support marriage equality for same-sex couples. To read the report of State Bar's Special Committee on LGBT People and the Law, please visit"

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