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Legal Benefits of Marriage Now Available to Same-Sex Couples

Posted by J. Benjamin Stevens | Jun 30, 2015 | 0 Comments

When people think about marriage, what first comes to minds is often thoughts of weddings, romance, and the like. However, it is important to remember that marriage is a legal relationship that conveys many important rights to spouses.

Now that gay marriage is legal in all 50 states, let's take a look at some of the more important federal legal benefits of marriage that married same sex couples can now enjoy, just as their heterosexual brethren have enjoyed for years. They will now be able to:

  • Sponsor their husband/wife for immigration benefits;
  • File income taxes jointly;
  • Have joint parenting rights, such as access to children's school records;
  • Have next-of-kin status for emergency medical decisions;
  • Have family visitation rights, such as a visit to a spouse in a hospital or prison;
  • Receive custodial rights to children, shared property, child support and alimony after divorce;
  • Qualify for domestic violence intervention;
  • Receive spousal funeral and bereavement leave;
  • Inherit property;
  • Receive spousal benefits when an officer is killed in the line of duty;
  • Receive spousal Social Security payments;
  • Have immunity from testifying against his/her spouse;
  • Apply for housing assistance if in a low-income family;
  • Apply for copyright renewal for works created by their deceased spouse; and
  • Receive spousal recognition for policies governing burial at Arlington National Cemetery.


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J. Benjamin Stevens

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