Article by Janis Cowhey, LGBT Practice Co-Leader, "The Benefits of Same-Sex Marriage: It’s Not Just About The Love Thing," Featured in Philadelphia Gay News
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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