New York Marriage Records:
Will Same Sex Marriage Change New York Marriage Records?
The entire country has been in an upheaval since the early part of this century. Why? Because a large number of people, those who are involved in same-sex relationships and those who support them, feel as though homosexual people should be able to marry just as heterosexual people can. This vociferous debate has led states around the nation to make decisions concerning their stance on same-sex marriages. In 2011, New York State made their decision, and they decided to make same-sex marriages legal.
This simple decision, however, has lead to a number of questions, even though a number of other New England states have already made same-sex marriage legal in their state. Some people wonder if they can legally marry in New York and then move back to their state (such as Florida which does not allow same-sex marriage, yet), and if the same-sex marriages that will be performed will change the dynamic of the state itself. One question that is easy to answer is how same-sex marriage will change New York marriage records.
Marriage records are an extremely important piece of public documentation. They are equally as important as birth and death records and are so important that they have been declared to be of public record status by both state and federal governments. Anyone who wants has access to the information. Marriage records help acknowledge those who are legally married and those who are not. Until recently, same-sex couples could only wish to attain a marriage license so as to marry their significant other - legally.
When the first same-sex marriages occurred, they weren't actual marriages but rather civil unions, and yes, the civil union certification was much different than New York marriage records look now. This is because the documentation was completely different. Now that New York same-sex marriage are legal, will documentation for marriage licenses for homosexual couples be different than the documentation needed for heterosexual couples?
If the state follows through with the precedents set by other states that have allowed same-sex marriages to become legal, the paperwork will look either exactly the same or extremely similar. There is really no reason why the paperwork should look different. According to the laws passed, same-sex couples who are married should be afforded the same rights and responsibilities of any heterosexual couple, so the paperwork should, and likely will, look exactly the same.
If you're part of a same-sex couple that is planning to get married in New York, make sure that you get a copy of the right New York marriage record that you'll need, even if you plan on staying in the state. These marriage records are an important piece of paper to have in your home and are a great thing to pass down to your family members for historical reasons, as well.
How to Get a New York Marriage Certificate:
(GenWed does not sell marriage certificates! This information is provided only to explain the different kinds of marriage records to be had, who has them and how to get them.)
Records are available for marriages which took place in New York State (outside of New York City) from 1881 with the exception of Albany, Buffalo, and Yonkers, which start in 1914. For certificates dating prior to these dates, contact the city clerk in the town where the marriage took place. (I suggest contacting the city clerks anyway for faster service.)
Certified copies of New York marriage records:
The fee for a certified copy of a marriage certificate is $30.00 per copy. Additional fees may apply. Records are available from 1881. More information - Marriage Certificates - New York State Department of Health
Restrictions: Only the bride, groom, or other persons who have a documented judicial or other proper purpose (New York State Court Order) may order a certified copy of a marriage record.
For more information on certified marriage certificates and to check the current status of fees call (518) 474-3075.
Genealogical copies of New York marriage certificates:
Uncertified marriage certificate copies are available if they are 50 years old or older, and the bride and groom are both known to be deceased. The 50 year requirement is waived if the person requesting the copy is a direct-line ancestor and supplies proof of the death of the bride and groom.
The fee for a genealogy marriage certificate is $22.00 for a three year search. Additional fees for more years searched may apply.
New York City marriage certificates:
New York City is divided into five boroughs, Manhattan, Kings, Queens, the Bronx [Brooklyn], and Staten Island [Richmond]. For city clerk addresses, see the county pages.
For more information and to check the current status of fees call (212) 788-8580.
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