When the Court of Appeals decided Braschi v. Stahl1 in 1989, many regarded it as purposed to give gay couples the same kind of protections that straight couples had in rent regulation, allowing one like a spouse to succeed to a tenancy as if he or she were a spouse to the dearly departed tenant of record. This misunderstanding of the meaning of Braschi has persisted to this very day and many, based on this misunderstanding, thought that the Legislature’s recognition of gay marriage in 2011 abolished the need for Braschi. This is not true because Braschi was neither limited to spouse-like relationships nor to LGBT people. Rather, Braschi casts legal recognition, for purposes of rent regulation, on any kind of family-like relationship between the tenant of record and some other person—whether their relationship be like that of a spouse, sibling, parent and child, or something that defies description altogether.
Thus, whatever protections Braschi thought necessary prior to gay marriage, remains unchanged by its passage. Further, even where those protections are no longer necessary, they are in fact, codified into the rent regulatory statutes and their implementing regulations and are thus apparently here to stay for a good long time.
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