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Same-Sex Marriage Legalized Nationwide by the Supreme Court

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.