Rights within reach: For some US gay couples, marriage is mere miles away — but that's still too far

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 19, 2013 11:40 AM GMT
    Even after DOMA Section 3 repeal, it's still not clear if only gay couples in same-sex marriage states are eligible for Federal benefits.

    130718-State-defense-of-marriage-436p.ph

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/07/19/19545738-rights-within-reach-for-some-gay-couples-marriage-is-mere-miles-away-but-thats-still-too-far?lite
  • Suetonius

    Posts: 1842

    Jul 19, 2013 6:29 PM GMT
    Of course they are entitled to federal benefits. The article talks mainly about not getting benefits from states that don't provide for same sex marriage. The right to benefits in those states is yet to be litigated - and the outcome is far from certain.
  • Whipmagic

    Posts: 1481

    Jul 19, 2013 7:02 PM GMT
    Suetonius saidOf course they are entitled to federal benefits. The article talks mainly about not getting benefits from states that don't provide for same sex marriage. The right to benefits in those states is yet to be litigated - and the outcome is far from certain.


    In most instances, you are correct. But there are a few federal benefits that are explicitly tied to where the couple resides, and not to where they married, that's how the law was worded back then when no one could foresee today's situation. Social Security is the biggest one. Either congress amends those statutes, or it will have to be litigated as well. Winnable, in all likelihood, but it still takes time and money.
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    Jul 19, 2013 10:36 PM GMT
    Whipmagic said
    Suetonius saidOf course they are entitled to federal benefits. The article talks mainly about not getting benefits from states that don't provide for same sex marriage. The right to benefits in those states is yet to be litigated - and the outcome is far from certain.

    In most instances, you are correct. But there are a few federal benefits that are explicitly tied to where the couple resides, and not to where they married, that's how the law was worded back then when no one could foresee today's situation. Social Security is the biggest one. Either congress amends those statutes, or it will have to be litigated as well. Winnable, in all likelihood, but it still takes time and money.

    Correct. ALL Federal benefits are NOT available at this time to same-sex couples EVERYWHERE in the US who are LEGALLY married in States that permit those marriages. And that's the dilemma.

    Federal benefits may be available in the State where the marriage occurred, and in other same-sex marriage States, but in no other States that prohibit gay marriage.

    And yet, these are Federal benefits, and doesn't the Federal government supersede State law? So it normally does. But not, apparently, when it comes to gay marriage. The Federal government allows State law to determine if a same-sex couple receives certain Federal benefits.

    So that this is an issue in flux. The months ahead will be interesting, as these conflicts are resolved.
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    Jul 19, 2013 10:48 PM GMT
    I just came across this on hrc.org.

    http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/new-yorks-dinapoli-same-sex-marriages-should-be-recognized-regardless-of-wh
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    Jul 20, 2013 1:13 PM GMT
    Sungod17 saidI just came across this on hrc.org.

    http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/new-yorks-dinapoli-same-sex-marriages-should-be-recognized-regardless-of-wh

    I support the NY Attorney General's action. But the President can only influence those Federal agencies that have chosen to base their benefits eligibility decisions on State law as an internal administrative rule, insofar as such authority was granted them by Congess.

    I believe in some cases it was Congress itself that established the specific criteria for Federal agencies to follow. In which case the President cannot unilaterally change the policy, that defers to State law in granting Federal benefits.

    Either Congress must change the policy in those cases (unlikely with the current anti-gay Republican leadership), or the courts must declare the policy unconstitutional.
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    Jul 20, 2013 2:30 PM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    Sungod17 saidI just came across this on hrc.org.

    http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/new-yorks-dinapoli-same-sex-marriages-should-be-recognized-regardless-of-wh

    I support the NY Attorney General's action. But the President can only influence those Federal agencies that have chosen to base their benefits eligibility decisions on State law as an internal administrative rule, insofar as such authority was granted them by Congess.

    I believe in some cases it was Congress itself that established the specific criteria for Federal agencies to follow. In which case the President cannot unilaterally change the policy, that defers to State law in granting Federal benefits.

    Either Congress must change the policy in those cases (unlikely with the current anti-gay Republican leadership), or the courts must declare the policy unconstitutional.


    Hey Bob, you got sumthin agaist Republicans? I'm beginning to think you do!
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    Jul 20, 2013 2:34 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    Hey Bob, you got sumthin agaist Republicans? I'm beginning to think you do!

    Maybe because the Republican Party has something against gays? You can't deny they do, they put it in their platforms, in their speeches, and in laws.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 20, 2013 2:36 PM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    freedomisntfree said
    Hey Bob, you got sumthin agaist Republicans? I'm beginning to think you do!

    Maybe because the Republican Party has something against gays? You can't deny they do, they put it in their platforms, in their speeches, and in laws.


    No, I didn't know that. I don't know any republicans who hate homosexuals.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 20, 2013 3:12 PM GMT
    Sorry, Bob, we have a rain out on a car show today and I had a little extra time for

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    Jul 20, 2013 3:39 PM GMT
    the next wave of lawsuits will be very interesting. couples in NJ and IL are suing for marriage equality, saying their civil unions are preventing them access to federal marriage benefits...