Same Sex Marriage

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The debate over same sex marriage is at an all time high and on the threshold of a new and exciting era for the LGBT community. On March 26 and March 27, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will start to hear arguments for cases involving California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

The outcome of these cases have gained both national and international attention as they may well be the pivotal and precedential cases that decide the future of the legal validity of same sex marriages in the United States. The legal right to marry has a broad effect on many other legal rights in the areas of immigration, probate, tax, medical, children and child custody, parenting, divorce, insurance, and much more.

If you are thinking of marrying or entering into a domestic partnership please contact our office for a consultation on how your legal rights can be affected by these SCOTUS decisions and how to best protect yourself.

The Law Office of Jeffrey Y. Bennett, LLC is committed to assisting the LGBT community with the protection of their civil, legal, and financial rights which includes the right to marry.
Contact our office at 816-759-2776 (English) or 816-759-2777 (Espanol). Other languages available upon request.

Recent News on Same Sex Marriage:

Marriage Equality Going to Have Rough Ride in Courts Now

AMICUS BRIEF SAME SEX MARRIAGE

Indexed transcript and full audio recordings of the SCOTUS arguments on Same Sex Marriage:

Hollingsworth v. Perry

United States v. Windsor

Click here for Same Sex Marriage Laws in Your State

 

Timeline of the SCOTUS Cases on Same Sex Marriage*

1996
Defense of Marriage Act Enacted
Passed in response to the possibility that the state of Hawaii might allow same-sex marriages, the act defines marriage as the union of one man and one women, for the purposes of Federal law. DOMA passed the House by a vote of 342-67, the Senate 85-14, and was signed by President Bill Clinton.

Documents

2004
First Same-sex Marriages in the United States
Massachusetts becomes the first state in the nation to allow same-sex marriages as the result of a state supreme court decision.
May 2008

Courthouse of the Supreme Court of California

Same-sex Marriage in California
The California supreme court rules that refusing to allow same-sex couples equal marriage rights violates the California state constitution.
Documents

November 2008
Proposition 8 Passes
California voters enact Proposition 8, effectively reversing the state supreme court decision.

Documents

 

June 2010 – Judge Walker

Prop. 8 Trial Court Review
Several same-sex couples filed suit in federal court challenging the constitutional validity of Proposition 8. Judge Vaughn Walker of Northern District of California agrees, concluding that the law violates the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.

Documents

February 2012
Ninth Circuit Rules Prop. 8 Unconstitutional
Following an appeal of Judge Walker’s ruling, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rules, 2-1, that Prop. 8 violates the Constitution.

Resources

June 2012
DOMA Trial Court Review
Edith Windsor, widow of a same-sex spouse whose marriage was legally recognized in New York, filed a lawsuit in New York, challenging the federal government’s levy of an estate tax that would not have been applied to an opposite-sex couple. Judge Barbara Jones of the Southern District of New York concludes that DOMA is unconstitutional, violating equal protection guarantees of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Documents

October 2012
Second Circuit Rules DOMA Unconstitutional
A three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, reviewing Judge Jones’ ruling, unanimously agrees that DOMA’s restrictive definition of marriage is unconstitutional.

Documents

 

 

December 2012

Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, who will argue for the government Paul Clement, who will argue for the BLAG

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear both Cases
The Supreme Court grants review of both DOMA and Prop. 8. In addition to arguments on the merits, the Court asks the parties to argue whether the Court has jurisdiction to hear the cases. Arguments are schedule for March 2013.

Documents – Prop. 8
**Timeline courtesy of http://www.oyez.org/ssm/.

 

 

Same Sex Marriage, Civil Union and Domestic Partnership Friendly States*

For a full breakdown of where state laws stand, click here.

Nine states (CT, IA, ME, MD, MA, NH, NY, WA, and VT) plus Washington, D.C. have the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. In 2012, the legislature in NJ passed a freedom to marry bill, and work is now underway to override the governor’s veto.

NM and RI explicitly respect out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples, while eight states now offer broad protections short of marriage. CO, DE, HI, IL, NJ, and RI allow civil union, while CA, OR, and NV offer broad domestic partnership. WI has more limited domestic partnership.

With these advances, a record number of Americans live in states that recognize relationships between same-sex couples:

  • Nearly 17% of the U.S. population lives in a state that either has the freedom to marry or honors out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples.
  • Over 40% of the U.S. population lives in a state with either marriage or a broad legal status such as civil union or domestic partnership.
  • Over 42% of the U.S. population lives in a state that provides some form of protections for gay couples.
United States Map
LouisianaArkansasHawaiiIowaPennsylvaniaMissouriTennesseeIdahoWyomingColoradoMontanaNorth DakotaSouth DakotaWest VirginiaNew YorkFloridaTexasMississippiGeorgiaAlabamaNew MexicoWashingtonOregonArizonaCaliforniaNorth CarolinaConnecticutRhode IslandSouth CarolinaMaineNew HampshireMassachusettsVirginiaNew JerseyDelawareMarylandKentuckyNebraskaUtahKansasVermontNevadaIndianaIllinoisOklahomaMichiganMichigan

WisconsinMinnesotaOhioAlaska
District of ColumbiaMarylandDelawareNew JerseyConnecticutRhode IslandMassachusettsNew HampshireVermont

For more information or to Schedule a Personal Consulation Contact

Jeffrey Y. Bennett
The Law Office of Jeffrey Y. Bennett, LLC

1828 Swift Avenue, Suite 425
North Kansas City, MO 64116
Tel: 816-759-2776 English
Tel. 816-759-2777 Espanol
Fax: 816-759-2769
www.JYBennettLaw.com

Para consultas en español
如有需要,我们可提供中文翻译陪同当面咨询
상담을 위한 한국어 통역사 서비스 요청에 의해 가능합니다
Other languages available upon request.