On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued a very important decision in United States v. Windsor relating to same-sex marriage. The case relies on the old-sounding philosophy of states’ rights to support a modern concept. Persons in same-sex marriages will now be governed by the same federal rules that apply to heterosexual marriages. The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which only recognized heterosexual marriages when doling out over 1,000 federal benefits and entitlements, is now confirmed as unconstitutional. In addition to qualifying for joint income tax rates and lower estate taxes, employee benefits just got better for same-sex families. Health insurance and flex plans can now be available on a tax-free basis to all same-sex spouses, not just those who meet the special tests for Section 105(b) dependent status. And same-sex spouses will now get ERISA retirement plan rights that were previously required only for heterosexual spouses.
Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA: What This Means in the Workplace
By Davis Malm on June 28th, 2013
Posted in Legal Updates | North America