1. 3 Ways a Repeal of DOMA Would Benefit Same-Sex Couples

    “[T]he Supreme Court announced that it has now scheduled all same-sex marriage cases currently pending before the Court for consideration at its November 20, 2012 scheduling conference.  Those cases include eight petitions dealing directly with DOMA, one petition dealing with California’s ‘Proposition 8’ ban on same-sex marriage, and one petition dealing with an Arizona law similar to DOMA that restricts marital benefits for state workers solely to opposite-sex married couples.” (FordHarrison

    In recent months, two federal courts of appeal have ruled that the Defense of Marriage Age (DOMA) violates the U.S. Constitution, and the Supreme Court has announced that it will take on the issue. 

    What will change if DOMA is overturned? Here are three big-ticket items:

    1. Tax breaks:

    “There have been a number of cases that have declared that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional… In a recent FAQ, the IRS has indicated that it will continue to treat same-sex married couples as unmarried individuals for tax provisions that relate to marital status, regardless of these court decisions.” (Charles Rubin

    2. Employee benefits:

    “The federal definition of spouse affects a variety of employee benefit and tax-related issues.  For instance, certain retirement plans are required to provide Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuities or Qualified Pre-retirement Survivor Annuities to spouses (as defined under federal law).  And while a non-federal government employer can extend coverage of a same-sex spouse under its group health plan, benefits may be taxable income to the employee because tax preferred status is only given to the participant’s spouse (as defined by federal law), and the participant’s dependent.” (FordHarrison

    3. Immigration status: 

    “… DOMA precludes immigration benefits from flowing to same-sex couples… Because of DOMA, there is no sponsorship option … under the ‘immediate relative’ category, which would compress the green card process to about six months. Pundits talk about the ‘line’ that immigrants need to join to embark on a ‘path to citizenship.’ Under the current system, same-sex couples are excluded from any line.” (Mintz Levin


    Further reading on the Defense of Marriage Act and other challenges for same-sex couples:


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