The End of DOMA: What Families Need to Know
The Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act earlier today, 17 years after the law blocked the federal recognition of gay marriage. A separate case was also declined, making it legal for same-sex couples to marry again in California.
Before today’s landmark decision, gay couples faced many obstacles in terms of marriage equality. They didn’t receive Family Medical Leave Act benefits, Social Security survivor benefits, veteran benefits, benefits for spouses of federal employees, and spousal impoverishment protection for Medicaid long-term care. In addition, gay couples paid almost $1,000 more in yearly taxes and dealt with higher estate taxes.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote for the majority of the decision, said, “Striking down DOMA would give dignity to same-sex families and help end suffering of children caused by the current law.”
Children of same-sex parents will benefit from an increased income in the household because they can now be covered under the same health insurance policy as their parents. These families will also have access to Social Security benefits.
Cheers could be heard outside the Supreme Court, but the loudest cheers were coming from same-sex parents. These couples have the same rights as any other husband and wife. Children are realizing that they’re as good as everyone else, regardless of who their parents love.
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