Best of 2013: The Single Largest Granting of Rights to Lesbian and Gay Couples in History
December 26, 2013 by Carolyn Simon, Deputy Director of Digital Media
When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, it affirmed that all loving and committed couples who are married deserve equal legal respect and treatment from the federal government.
The demise of DOMA marked a turning point in how the U.S. government treats the relationships of married same-sex couples for federal programs that are linked to being married.
Thanks to the Obama administration’s interpretation of the decision in United States vs. Windsor, legally married same-sex couples can:
- be treated as married for all federal tax purposes, including income, estate and gift taxes. The ruling applies regardless of whether the couple resides in a state or jurisdiction that recognizes their marriage;
- take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for their own serious medical needs or to care for a family member – including a spouse — without getting fired;
- enjoy spousal and family benefits extended to all legally married military spouses, including military I.D. cards, healthcare coverage, housing allowances and survivor benefits;
- apply for a green card; and much more.
These are just some of the unprecedented number of milestones in the Year of Greatest Accomplishments for the LGBT movement. Learn more at www.hrc.org/bestof2013.
To learn more about the Windsor decision and how it might impact your access to federal benefits, visit HRC.org/SupremeCourt.
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