Wednesday, June 26, 2013

federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional

The Supreme Court of the United States issued an opinion today holding that the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. This unlocks numerous legal rights and benefits for spouses in same-sex couples including the federal benefits that opposite-sex married couples are entitled to, like Social Security, Medicare, spousal tax rules, Medicaid spousal impoverishment rules, intestate succession laws, and much more.

Since same-sex marriage is not offered in West Virginia our state's lesbian and gay couples will still not be able to avail themselves of these new legal rights unless they marry in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage.

Much of the legal impact of this case is yet to be determined. You can find information sheets about what this historic case means at the National Center for Lesbian Rights website www.nclrights.org/site/PageServer?pagename=DOMA_FAQ_2013

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