Spouses in a same-sex marriage have all rights and benefits as spouses in an opposite-sex marriage. Any references in state law to the spousal relationship apply to same-sex marriages. Parties to a same-sex marriage, therefore, are entitled to family leave benefits, deductions provided for under state and municipal taxation, and public assistance benefits.
Employers in New York are required to provide the same benefits, such as health insurance, to same-sex spouses of employees as provided to opposite-sex spouses.
Note: Under the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), same-sex partners cannot be treated as spouses because marriage is defined as only between a man and a woman. Therefore, employee benefits regulated by federal law such as ERISA and federal income tax law are not affected by the state law.
Tax consequences. Under federal law, an employer's contribution to health insurance for a spouse is exempt from taxation. However, because of DOMA, this amount is ...