June 05, 2014
Article by Janis Cowhey, LGBT Practice Co-Leader and Portia Rose, LGBT Manager, "The Benefits of Same-Sex Marriage: It's Not Just About The Love Thing," Featured in Philadelphia Gay News
Since the Defense of Marriage Act was effectively nullified by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2013, same-sex couples have been rushing to the altar. In striking down the traditional definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman, the court made it easier for more non-traditional families to take their vows.
For all of you hopelessly in-love couples who have either taken the plunge or are considering marriage, you might want to be aware of some of the more practical benefits, rights and protections that a ring and the related legal document can provide.
In the Supreme Court’s decision striking down DOMA (United States v. Windsor), same-sex couples married in one of the 19 states plus the District of Columbia, or in a foreign country that recognizes same-sex marriage, qualify for many federal benefits previously limited to opposite-sex married couples. Unfortunately, the rules for eligibility vary by federal agency, since the court didn’t address whether federal agencies must recognize the marriages of same-sex married couples living in non-recognition states.
Because the benefits vary from federal agency to agency and from state to state, every couple must thoroughly consider how those benefits will apply to their particular circumstances.
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