Politics are confusing and while I'm obsessed with marriage equality news, even I was scratching my head after the Supreme Court overturned the federal portion of DOMA. Even the fact sheets and stuff I was reading online was confusing, so here's my attempt to answer the FAQs I had about what the good news from last week really means:
We live in Texas (for example) but were legally married in NY. Are we now eligible for federal marriage benefits?
Yes. Some benefits but not all. Unfortunately the federal government has a bunch of departments and agencies and each have their own standard of where marriage is defined. Some say "place of residence" (in your case, Texas) and some say "place of celebration" (in your case, NY). So until there's some consistency in the federal government about which standard to stick to, only the marriage benefits which apply to "place of celebration" will help you. If that's not clear, this is the best article I've found on the subject.
Is our marriage recognized in Texas?
No, the part of DOMA that means that states don't have to recognize same-sex marriages remains intact.
Are we now eligible for state marriage benefits if we live in Texas?
No. The part of DOMA that means that states don't have to recognize same-sex marriages remains intact.
We live in Texas and now want to divorce. Can we?
We don't talk about the D word here at 14 Stories. But if you insist on the D word, yes, but at least one of you has to travel to state where it's legal and establish residence there.
What are some of the federal marriage benefits we can now look forward to?
Filing taxes jointly, social security death benefits, freedom from the estate tax, Family Medical Leave Act, Veteran's spouse's benefits and much more...
Do we still need to hire a LGBT family law attorney to protect our family?
Yes, because when you travel to states and countries where your marriage is not legal, it is important to have your paperwork in order.
Can you recommend one?
Yes, absolutely. Contact us directly.
Is gay marriage now legal everywhere in the USA?
Not yet. We have 37 states to go.