Thursday, June 27, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court declares Defense of Marriage Act Unconstitutional

Yesterday, in U.S. v Windsor, the U.S. Supreme Court declared DOMA unconstitutional by a 5-4 vote.  Same-sex couples with valid marriages in jurisdictions recognizing same-sex marriages will no longer be denied the many benefits available to married couples under federal law. The federal tax implications for these couples is particularly important.  The case arose out of a suit for an estate tax refund paid by a sole heir, same-sex spouse in New York.  Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion that the federal statute violated the Fifth Amendment.

Massachusetts was the first U.S state to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples in 2004.  For much more information about same-sex marriage, see our webpage Massachusetts Law About Same-Sex Marriage.