The Supreme Court decision of June 26, 2015 is already being hailed as
one of the biggest civil rights victories in our country's history.
On that day, in a split 5-4 decision, the court ruled that the Constitution
guaranteed the right to marriage for same-sex couples, effectively legalizing
same-sex marriage nationwide.
The decision sparked celebration among activists and LGBT communities all
over the country. Speaking for the court's majority, Justice Anthony
Kennedy addressed the value of marriage and the opportunity all Americans
should have to take part in it. "Their hope is not to be condemned
to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest
institutions," he wrote, referring to same-sex couples. "They
ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants
them that right."
President Obama also spoke later that day on the court's decision,
calling it a "victory for America." Speaking to a White House
Rose Garden audience, he also highlighted his own long-standing support
for equal marriage rights. "In my second inaugural address, I said
that if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to
one another must be equal as well," he spoke. "It is gratifying
to see that principle enshrined into law by this decision."
What does this decision mean for New York?
New York legalized same-sex marriage on July 24, 2011. However, this was
state law and not a federal decision. Now that The U.S. Supreme Court
has made their ruling, same-sex couples in New York now have access to
federal benefits that were previously unavailable to them. These include:
- Social Security benefits
- Federal employee benefits
- Military/veteran benefits
Any of these could potentially affect an existing or anticipated family
law matters, such as a divorce or a prenuptial agreement. If you and your
partner believe that your new federal benefits could alter a legal issue
you are dealing with, then we invite you to contact
The Law Office of Kelley M. Enderley, PCtoday. Our Dutchess County family law attorney is ready to help you and
your husband, wife, or fiancé assess your new federal benefits
and how they could affect any family law complication you might be facing.
Contact our firm today to get started with a
free phone consultation.