Thursday, August 8, 2013

Supreme Court Rules On Same Sex Marriage Cases

On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued rulings on the two cases involving same sex marriages.  In a 5-4 decision on the case of United States v. Windsor,133 S.Ct. 2675 (2013), the Court overturned a law that denied federal benefits to couples in same sex marriages.  This means that couples in same sex marriages will be afforded the same rights to these benefits as couples in heterosexual marriages.  It is important to note that this case deals with extending federal benefits to couples in states where same sex marriages are allowed and does not extend the right to marry to states where it is not currently allowed.  In issuing this decision, Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority found that the Defense ofMarriage Act (“DOMA”; 1 U.S.C.A. § 7) is invalid because it denies same sex couples the rights that the states intended them to have by allowing them to marry and violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution.  The decision in this case will have an impact on same sex divorce cases throughout the country, including here in Connecticut.DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others.


The Supreme Court also decided to act on the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry, 133 S.Ct.2652 (2013), claiming that the supporters who argued for the ban on same sex marriages imposed by California’s Proposition 8 had no legal standing to bring the case.  In refusing to decide this case, the California trial court’s decision striking down Proposition 8 still stands.

Attorney Pamela Magnano practices divorce and family law with Attorney James Flaherty at Flaherty Legal Group in West Hartford, CT
Attorney Pamela Magnano

Attorney Pam Magnano practices divorce and family law at Flaherty Legal Group in West Hartford, CT.  She first wrote about this topic in a March 2013 post titled "Same Sex Marriage and The US Supreme Court". 
Contact Attorney Magnano by calling 860-904-2034 ext. 3

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