Thousands Of New York Couples Headed To Marry In California

Via USA Today:

Jeff Friedman and Andrew Zwerin were high school sweethearts on Long Island. After college and graduate school, they returned to New York to Rockville Centre. When they adopted Joshua, now 4, Friedman quit his job as a lawyer to be a stay-at-home dad.

Despite deep roots in New York, they will fly to Los Angeles this month to plan what Friedman, 40, says will be “a traditional Jewish wedding” under a chuppa, or canopy, at a cousin’s home on Oct. 11. “We’ve waited 23 years,” says Zwerin, 39. “We’re not about to shortcut the pomp and circumstances.”

More than 12,000 same-sex couples from New York are expected to marry in California within the next three years, says a report today by UCLA’s Williams Institute, which studies sexual orientation issues.

Unlike a projected 55,000 gay couples from other states whose marriages will be mostly symbolic, New Yorkers expect to have legal standing on matters such as inheritance and taxes. That’s because after California’s Supreme Court last month overturned a ban on same-sex marriage, New York Gov. David Paterson instructed state agencies to recognize all marriages, including those of gay couples, legally performed in other jurisdictions.

Those include Canada, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, South Africa and nearby Massachusetts, the first state to legalize same-sex marriage — but only for residents and those from states where it isn’t illegal. Gay rights advocates are unsure whether New York’s unique situation will allow residents to marry in Massachusetts, but California looks clear — at least until November, when Californians will vote on whether to amend the state constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage.

So far, all of my friends that plan to marry have decided to wait until it’s legal here in New York.