Two More States Extend Marriage Rights to Same-Sex Couples; State Bans Continue to Fall

Two More States Extend Marriage Rights to Same-Sex Couples; State Bans Continue to Fall

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19 states and the District of Columbia now permit same-sex couples to marry. Through various court rulings, states that previously banned same-sex marriages now must recognize them (from other states) and permit its citizens to marry too. PA and OR became the 18th and 19th states to recognize these marriages when both states declined to appeal federal district court rulings (that their state prohibitions on these marriages were unconstitutional).

Elsewhere, a federal court in Idaho and a state court in Arkansas came to the some conclusions. In Ohio, a federal court ruled that the state must recognize same-sex marriages from other states. While that isn’t the same as the right to marry (OH citizens could not legally marry in OH), can that decision be far behind? While the rulings in these cases have not yet taken effect (they are generally stayed (put on hold) until all appeals have been exhausted), the trend is certainly moving towards recognizes marriages from other states and even giving the outright right to marry. That means all the rights and privileges of marriage (benefits, beneficiaries, joint-tax-returns, etc.) would be available to them on the state level as they already are on the federal level (you’ll recall that after the Windsor decision, we saw a flurry of activity from the DOL & IRS embracing the “state of celebration rule” for all same-sex marriages).

Currently there are between 80 and 100 marriage cases pending nationwide and the possibility that 6 will be before the US Courts of Appeal this year (the courts directly below the US Supreme Court).

Links to the Rulings/Opinions/Orders:

Links to Crawford Advisor’s Post-Windsor guidance: