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Wed Jun 26, 2013, 09:53 PM


President Obama has work to make the DOMA repeal travel with couples

How the Court’s Ruling Will Affect Same-Sex Spouses

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Now that the Supreme Court has struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, some of these issues will be wiped away. The ruling makes clear that married gay couples living in states that recognize their unions will immediately gain access to more than 1,000 federal benefits, like Social Security and family leave rights. Less certain is how couples living in the remaining 37 states will fare.

The murkiness exists because federal agencies generally defer to the states to determine a couple’s marital status. Some agencies look to the laws in the state in which a couple now live, for instance, while others look to those in the state in which the couple were married.

“Unless the administration changes its practices and rules — and in a couple of cases, unless the law changes — then couples residing in a nonmarriage-equality state may not be recognized for some federal programs,” said Brian Moulton, legal director at the Human Rights Campaign. “Now that we have an opinion out, we will be anxiously awaiting what the administration will say about this and urging them to ensure that all married couples, regardless of where they live, are fully recognized.”

White House officials said that they had already begun analyzing the hundreds of relevant laws and statutes at issue and were working with the Justice Department to make benefits available as swiftly as possible.

But even if the administration were to apply the ruling broadly, gay married couples would still not be on entirely even ground with their heterosexual peers. Until other states approve the unions, couples will still need to travel to one of 13 states or the District of Columbia to get married. And they will still need to deal with a patchwork of state laws that could make it difficult to get a divorce or establish legal ties to their children.


A sampling of some of the agencies and benefits in question and how they determine which state defines marraige are at the link.

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Reply President Obama has work to make the DOMA repeal travel with couples (Original post)
morningfog Jun 2013 OP
roamer65 Jun 2013 #1
morningfog Jun 2013 #2
roamer65 Jun 2013 #3

Response to morningfog (Original post)

Wed Jun 26, 2013, 10:06 PM

1. So what happens now with...

...a same-sex couple who are in the military and married in a "marriage rights" state, then get transferred to a "marriage ban" state?

State law vs federal law.

I hope a couple like this takes it to the Supreme Court. That will be the end of the bans.

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Response to roamer65 (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 26, 2013, 10:08 PM

2. That takes a long time. An executive order and changes in regulations by the Executive


may be able to deal with most of these more quickly.

Those that need a change in statute, if any, will take longer and may need to get to courts.

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Response to morningfog (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 26, 2013, 10:14 PM

3. The Democrats in the Michigan legislature have announced...

...they are going to try to lift the ban to achieve consistency with federal law.

In a couple years I can see mainly the old Confederate states as the only holdouts...if we don't get a ruling from the SCOTUS on it.

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