The American Bar Association next month will consider adopting a measure supporting same-sex marriage backed by two New York bar associations. The measure, to be voted on by the ABA House of Delegates at its meeting next month in San Francisco, is sponsored by 14 groups, including the New York State Bar Association and the New York City Bar. It urges state, territorial and tribal governments to eliminate laws restricting marriage between same-sex partners.
Supporters say the adoption of the measure would build on past ABA policies supporting protections for gay couples and their families. The House of Delegates in 2004 approved a recommendation opposing efforts to enact federal legislation preventing states from allowing same-sex marriage. "Everyone who worked on it is hopeful," said Michele Kahn, a partner at Kahn & Goldberg who chairs a New York State Bar committee on gay rights. The State Bar in June 2009 came out in support of same-sex marriage, dropping its support of civil unions or domestic partnerships as alternative measures.
Kahn said so far no formal opposition has come forward against the measure.
The proposal is just one of 35 the 560-member House of Delegates will consider during its Aug. 5-10 meeting.