08/02/2012 11:37 am ET Updated Aug 02, 2012

Regina Hawkins-Balducci Wins Right To Add Lesbian Spouse's Name To Rent-Stabilized Lease

A lesbian couple has won a legal battle with their apartment's management company, granting them the right to add both women's names to the lease of their rent-stabilized apartment.

The Daily News reports DSA Management, Inc had refused to add the name of Regina Hawkins-Balducci's wife (who did not want to be identified) to the lease on their Harlem apartment, even though the couple were legally wed in a New York ceremony in January.

Hawkins-Balducci told The Advocate that when she made the request, a representative from DSA said her wife's name would never be on the lease.

After seeking assistance with Lambda Legal, an advocacy group supporting the gay and lesbian community, who threatened to file discrimination lawsuit against DSA, it was announced Wednesday that the company would add Hawkins-Balducci's spouse's name to the lease.

An attorney for Lambda Legal Natalie Chin said, "We are pleased that DSA Management and Nicholas Place LLC are now complying with New York City and State laws. It is unfortunate that the Balduccis had to retain lawyers and go through this emotionally taxing experience to protect their clearly established rights.”

But a representative for DSA Management denies the couple's sexual orientation had anything to do with their initial opposition saying, "There’s still more to this case that has not been resolved."

Regardless, Hawkins-Balducci is relieved. "After months of insults and harassment, we are happy that this issue is finally resolved," she said. "If something should happen to either me or my wife, we now know that our housing is secure because both of our names are on the lease."



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