Female seeking couple rhode Syracuse New York

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Marriage is a Fundamental Right an Option. Charles M. Sprock, Jr. The question as to whether same-sex marriage is a fundamental right is one that continues to be litigated in the courts, debated in the legislatures, and discussed in law schools and legal journals across the country. The issue is an important one and it merits the time, attention, and financial contributions that are being invested into finding the answer.

This article, however, is not going to in that discussion. That question will remain with the many scholars, attorneys, judges, advocates, and legislators who are committed to that issue. This article will instead focus on another topic, one that is much less scholarly, much less theoretical, but much more applicable to the lives of committed same-sex couples living in the here and now. Whether or not same-sex marriage is a fundamental right, marriage is now a legal option for same-sex couples—an option that until recently did not exist.

This paper will discuss what having the marriage option means to same-sex couples. The LGBT community fought for, and won, the right to marry. As two single people, a same-sex couple did have some limited options in building legal recognition. A couple had the option of living as two single individuals with no legal ties to each other, as two single individuals who created some legal ties, or as two single individuals who created as many legal ties as they could.

No matter how many legal ties they created, they could not gain recognition of their relationship as a marriage from either the state or federal governments. Now, the times and the law have changed. Today, same-sex couples have the right to marry. But with that right comes a burden—the burden of choice. Because the marriage option exists, couples must choose whether to exercise their right to marry, or to exercise their right not to marry. They are now confronted with having to turn to each other and explore an extremely personal and difficult question: Should we get married?

This article will provide same-sex couples faced with this burden some background to assist them as they explore their marriage options. The first section reports on the status Female seeking couple rhode Syracuse New York legal recognition for same-sex married couples across the United States. It also highlights the rights and the obligations that accompany these options. The third section examines the trends in opposite-sex marriage and what same-sex couples might learn from the marriage choices that these couples are making.

Same-sex marriage recognition in the United States made ificant gains in Balanced against these advances is the legal reality that the majority of the States do not recognize same-sex marriage. As of December 31,twenty-five states prohibit same-sex marriage through amendments to state constitutions, [8] four recognize only marriages between one man and one woman under other state law, [9] and four states provide a form of partnership recognition to same-sex couples, however, this recognition falls short of marriage.

The legal landscape of same-sex marriage recognition changed dramatically in and will continue to change in as courts hear even more challenges to state restrictions on same-sex marriage recognition. Twenty-four states are involved in litigation relative to their laws recognizing only opposite-sex marriages.

The Supreme Court determined long Female seeking couple rhode Syracuse New York that marriage is a fundamental right. While the courts continue to address questions relative to marriage and same-sex couples, it appears that the following are true as of this writing [16] : 1 Marriage is a fundamental right; 2 the federal government recognizes legally performed same-sex marriages; and 3 individual states may pass laws recognizing marriages only between one man and one woman. Thus, if a couple lives in a state that does not recognize marriage as a fundamental right for same-sex couples, marriage is still an option for those same-sex couples willing to accept only federal recognition of their marriage and who are willing to travel to another jurisdiction which recognizes same-sex marriages to be married.

States that recognize same-sex marriages give couples more protections than states that do not recognize these unions. Couples in non-recognition states still have federal recognition, but as will be seen in the next section, that recognition does not presently apply to all federal benefits.

Same-sex couples have the option of marrying, but how good that option is depends in large part on where the couples live. The marriage options available to same-sex couples depends on where the couple lives. Not being married is an option for all same-sex couples regardless of where they live. If the couple lives in a full equality state then they will be recognized as a married couple by both their home state and the federal government.

If a couple is willing and able to relocate, then all three are viable options. However, given the reality that relocating to a new state is prohibitive to most couples for a variety of reasons, the real choice for most couples is between no marriage and either full marriage or federal only marriage, depending on the laws of their home state. And of course, once a couple marries they have the option of divorcing.

As later discussion will show, the uncertainty relates to whether the state of residence recognizes the marriage. When choosing between these options it is important that a couple look at their own situation and determine which option benefits them the most. The couple should also be aware that along with the benefits of each option come certain costs. No option is perfect.

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Not every option works for every couple. So understanding what comes with each option is important to help ensure that the couple understands the consequences of their choice. Under the No Marriage option, the couple is treated as two separate individuals. Each individual will likely be responsible for his or her own health insurance, income tax payments and tax return filings. Property or monetary transfers between the partners may be subject to gift tax. Partners may be forced to testify against each other in a court of law. There is also no right to alimony or maintenance in the event of divorce.

If there are children in the relationship, parental rights for both parents may not be protected either. Unmarried couples may take affirmative steps to build protections for each other. They can create health care directives that appoint each other to make health care decisions. They can appoint each other agents under durable powers of attorney. They can acquire property and make investments together as t tenants with rights of survivorship.

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They can deate each other as beneficiaries on retirement s and life insurance policies. Couples who own a business or have substantial assets may also choose to form trusts, limited liability companies or corporations. With these devises the individuals are linked together like to regular business co-owners. In some states they may also be able to be legally recognized as parents to their children. The only legal connections they share are the ones that they create. While this may be burdensome to some, to others it is a benefit. Some couples want to be able to control when they will be viewed as partners.

They may also want to be able to amend or sever these ties by simply revoking wills and other estate planning instruments, closing s, selling property or changing beneficiary deations. These actions can certainly be easier than a divorce. The downside is that if the couple fails to take these steps, then they will have no protections in place. As a result, decision-making powers and valuable property may pass to the legally recognized next of kin rather than to a surviving partner.

This option works for those who want to custom de their rights and protections, and who are comfortable not having the rights and protections of marriage. There are over 1, federal benefits related to marriage. Windsor that Section 3 of DOMA was unconstitutional, many believed that all of these benefits would be available to legally married same-sex couples.

However, due to both the language in the holding and the complexities of federal law, not all federal rights and protections are presently granted to all married same-sex couples. Marriage is a right conveyed by states and the District of Columbia, not the federal government. The federal government affords certain rights and protections to those people who have entered into marriages granted by the states. Justice Kennedy acknowledged the sovereignty of the states to confer marriage rights in the Windsor opinion:. DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriage of others.

The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.

It is clear that the federal government must respect those couples that the states have sought to protect with marriage rights. The question for the federal government becomes which state does it respect, the one that performed the marriage or the one in which the couple resides? Some federal laws tie marriage recognition to the ceremonial state. Under laws that follow Female seeking couple rhode Syracuse New York ceremonial theory, the marriage is valid and recognized if the state that conferred the marriage rights recognizes the union.

Prior to Windsor the distinction was for the most part academic, considering that with few exceptions heterosexual marriages are recognized across state lines. Now, in our post- Windsorworld the distinction is a real one for same-sex married couples seeking federal recognition and benefits. Consistent with its practices for the last fifty years, the Internal Revenue Service IRS and the Treasury Department will look to the ceremonial state to determine marriage recognition.

What will be challenging for married same-sex couples in states that do not recognize their marriage is knowing how their state wants their state income tax returns prepared. For example, if a state does not recognize a marriage it may require the couple to file their state tax returns as two separate individuals. If their state tax code defers to the Internal Revenue Code IRC for tax rules and definitions it may require them to file either as married filing single or married filing tly.

But not all states that defer to the IRC have opted to have married, same-sex couples file as married. Federal tax benefits that the married same-sex couples can receive include preferential treatment relative to the taxation of IRAs, Ks and other tax deferred retirement s transferred to a spouse upon death. However, given that only estates having a net value of over five million dollars are subject to estate tax, this is not a benefit that most married couples, regardless of gender, will enjoy. It is less clear as to whether treatment as a married couple for income tax purposes is a benefit or a detriment.

In some situations a couple will pay lower annual income taxes as a married couple. When one person makes little or no income or when one makes ificantly more than the other, filing as a married couple is often preferable. However, when both spouses are high wage earners they Female seeking couple rhode Syracuse New York likely to pay more as a couple then they would if they filed as two single people. This is a result of graduated tax brackets and the phase out of certain tax credits and deductions at higher income levels.

Female seeking couple rhode Syracuse New York

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