Harlem Apartment Refuses to Add Woman’s Same-Sex Spouse to Lease

gaymarriage Harlem Apartment Refuses to Add Womans Same Sex Spouse to Lease

The battle for equality marches on. (richiesoft, flickr)

Gay marriage may be legal in New York, and have the support of both President Obama and Dick Cheney, but that doesn’t mean that the manager of a Harlem apartment building is about to recognize it—or the law—anytime soon.

When Harlem resident Regina Hawkins-Balducci asked to have her wife’s name added to her rent-stabilized lease she was rejected by the building manager of her apartment, the New York Daily News reports. Turns out that’s not only bigotry, it’s also illegal.

Ms. Hawkins-Balducci, who married in January, said she provided the apartment complex with her marriage certificate when she asked to add her wife’s name to the lease, but was told “I don’t care what kind of things you present to me. It’s not going to happen.”

She is now working with Lambda Legal and is considering taking legal action against DSA Management, Inc. and the building’s owner, Nicholas Place LLC.

The New York rent-stabilization laws are clear: Tenants have a right to ensure housing security for a spouse by having their spouse’s name added to a rent-stabilized or rent-controlled lease,” Natalie Chin, Lambda Legal attorney, told the Daily News. “This conduct is both outrageous and in violation of New York State and city laws.”

Arik Lifshitz, of DSA Management, declined to comment when questioned by the paper, saying evasively that “there is more to the story.”

While we’d be interested to hear, exactly, what that more is, but we hope that DSA will come to its senses (and the 21st century) sometime soon.

sgrothjan@observer.com