Can Florida Same Sex Partners Now Get Federal Marriage Benefits?
In yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court Opinion striking down portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), Justice Anthony Kennedy outlined some of the federal marriage benefits that DOMA affected:
By its great reach, DOMA touches many aspects of married and family life, from the mundane to the profound. It prevents same-sex married couples from obtaining government healthcare benefits they would otherwise receive…It deprives them of the Bankruptcy Code’s special protections for domestic-support obligations…It forces them to follow a complicated procedure to file their state and federal taxes jointly…It prohibits them from being buried together in veteran’s cemeteries.
DOMA also brings financial harm to children of same-sex couples. It raises the cost of health care for families by taxing health benefits provided by employers to their workers’ same-sex spouses…And it denies or reduces benefits allowed to families upon the loss of a spouse and parent, benefits that are an integral part of a family security.
U.S. v. Windsor, 570 U.S. ___ (2013).
So, now that portions of DOMA have been overturned, are Florida same sex couples eligible for federal marriage benefits?