One year later….Celebrating the demise of DOMA
By Kirsten Bokenkamp Communications Director One year ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Windsor changed the trajectory of marriage equality in the United States. By striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, the Court ruled that the federal government must not discriminate against married same-sex couples for the purposes of determining federal benefits and protections. It was an historic and joyful day that paved the way for all married couples to be treated equally by the federal government. Consistent with the decision, over the last year, there have been some big changes as federal agencies have worked to extend benefits to same-sex couples. Some of the changes include:
- Married same-sex couples can now file joint tax returns with the IRS;
- The spouses of gay and lesbian military service members can now access the same benefits as other married couples;
- Citizens and lawful permanent residents can now sponsor same-sex spouses for immigration benefits;
- Married same-sex couples who work for the federal government now have the same access to health insurance and retirement benefits as their straight counterparts.