Same-sex marriage now legal in all 50 states

Massachusetts was the first state in the United States to legalize gay marriage in 2003. Gay marriage is now legal in every state under the Supreme Court’s recent ruling.

In this landmark ruling, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to get married. The case is a historic moment for gay and lesbian couples throughout the nation. Although same-sex couples could already get married in 36 states and in the District of Columbia, the Supreme Court’s ruling means that the rest of the states must stop enforcing any bans on same-sex marriage.

The ruling will not take effect immediately. The losing side has about three weeks to request the Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling. Regardless, same-sex couples in Massachusetts are celebrating this victory.

Same-sex couples can now be treated equally under the law for purposes such as spousal benefits, tax filing status, health care coverage, and social security. Another important impact of the ruling is that same-sex couples who want to get divorced will be able to do so in any state. Because all states must now recognize same-sex marriages, couples can seek the same relief as heterosexual couples who wish to dissolve their marriages. Like other couples, same-sex couples can ask the courts to enter orders regarding property division, child custody, alimony, and more.

If you have questions about the recent ruling or are considering divorce, you may find it helpful to speak with an experienced family law attorney. The best way to ensure that your rights and interests are protected is to understand the law.

Source: The Boston Globe, “State where gay marriage started celebrates ruling,” Peter Schworm, June 26, 2015

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