Same-sex couples rights

Former Massachusetts couple fighting for same-sex couples rights

A same-sex couple that used to live in Massachusetts is struggling to get divorced in another state. It is not yet clear if they will succeed, and they find themselves fighting for the basic right to divorce. The proceedings that are taking place in a southeastern state underscore the ongoing struggles for same-sex couples rights. The two individuals were married in 2010 in Massachusetts. Subsequently, they moved down south. The two are now attempting to divorce, but it appears to be a bigger battle than they may have originally imagined. Only one of the two appeared in court for a hearing, where they hoped they would hear that the judge would grant the dissolution of their marriage. The proceedings are pending in Florida, a state that does not yet recognize same-sex marriages. The judge is struggling with a decision to grant the divorce because the state doesn’t legally recognize their marriage in the first place. The parties could move back to Massachusetts, but they would have to satisfy the residency requirements in our state before a divorce could be granted in the Bay State. They would have to reestablish residency in Massachusetts for a one year period before a divorce could be granted in this state. Understandably, the one year residency requirement in Massachusetts is a roadblock for a couple that wants to get a divorce now. In the meantime, the parties find themselves fighting for same-sex couples rights in the state of Florida. The Florida judge has requested that

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Major victory achieved for same-sex couples rights

Recent current events are exemplified in the Bob Dylan song, The Times They Are a-Changin’. Gay couples in Massachusetts and the rest of the nation just achieved a major victory on a federal level. Officials with the attorney general’s office announced a change to same-sex couples rights that will affect many areas of their lives. The Justice Department is expected to issue a memo that substantially expands the rights of people in same-sex marriages — increasing their recognition on a national level. The change will apply even in states that do not recognize same-sex marriage. It is only valid, however, when federal matters like bankruptcy and prison visits are concerned. For example, if two women got married in Massachusetts and then moved to Indiana, they can now file federal bankruptcy together. This is true even though they are in a state that does not recognize their marriage as legally binding. They will now be treated with the same consideration given to a more traditional couple. Several other areas are affected. Under the new policy, people with same-sex spouses who are incarcerated in a federal facility will be granted the same visitation as is afforded heterosexual couples. In both civil and criminal federal matters, spouses will be given equal rights regardless of the gender of their person to whom they are wed. This means one spouse cannot be compelled to testify in court against the other. One major area that was not directly affected by the recent changes is same-sex divorce.

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Federal ruling affects non-traditional couples in Massachusetts

The state of Massachusetts has recognized the marriages of non-traditional couples as legal unions since 2004. However, the federal government’s acknowledgement of these unions is critical in regards to finances. Non-traditional couples can now have access to their spouses Social Security survivor benefits, estate tax exemptions and federal pensions. This evens the playing field for same-sex couples and heterosexual couples in regards to the financial benefits of marriage. Marriages recognized at the state level are important in regards to the ownership of property, when medical decisions need to be made and when the couple has children. Marriages recognized at the federal level bring greater financial security as well as federal health benefits to those in non-traditional marriages who have a spouse working for the federal government. The military will also be making changes due to the new federal ruling. All military spouses, — heterosexual unions, as well as same sex unions — will now be receiving the same military benefits. There are some issues which will still need to be overcome. Those same-sex couples who do not live in one of the 13 states that recognize same-sex marriages can have issues with some federal benefits due to the fact that the benefits are based on the rules of the state in which the beneficiary resides. Given this issue, it may be beneficial for non-traditional couples to reside in states which recognize their marriage as a legal union. The hope is that the current administration will be able to extend as

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