Friday, February 25, 2011

Court: NYer in gay marriage can inherit as spouse - Topix

Court: NYer in gay marriage can inherit as spouse - Topix: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

NEW YORK (AP) -- A New York appeals court has upheld a ruling allowing a survivor of a same-sex marriage to inherit as a spouse. Gay-rights advocates say it's the first appellate ruling of its kind in the state.

J. Craig Leiby and H. Kenneth Ranftle were legally married in Canada. Thursday's appellate ruling says Leiby is therefore entitled to recognition as the surviving spouse in a dispute over Ranftle's estate. He died in 2008.

One of Ranftle's brothers, Richard, had challenged the legitimacy of the marriage and sought to contest the will. It left most of the estate to Leiby.

Richard Ranftle's lawyer didn't immediately return a call. A lawyer for Leiby notes the decision builds on New York court rulings recognizing out-of-state gay marriages in other contexts, such as health benefits.

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