“We’re on a long road and today was a Mach 1 step forward,” Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, said. “It doesn’t mean we’re at the endpoint.”
When the Legislature approved a same-sex marriage law last spring and voters affirmed it in the November elections, that invalided the state’s version of the Defense of Marriage Act. But same-sex couples weren’t eligible for some federal benefits, Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, the bill’s prime sponsor, said. . .
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. . .They couldn’t file a joint return for their income taxes. Surviving spouses weren’t eligible for their deceased partner’s Social Security benefits. Federal employees couldn’t add same-sex spouses to their health care insurance.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling opens those doors for same-sex couples. Whether a same-sex couple who are married in
“The Obama Administration is going to have to write some rules or regulations on some of those,”
The court invalidated the federal Defense of Marriage Act but federal law has an estimated 1,138 different rights and obligations that depend on marital status, Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, said. Some, like immigration status, depend on where the couple’s marriage takes place, so an immigrant who marries an American resident in
Others, like eligibility for a spouse’s Social Security benefits, depend on where the person lives. A same-sex couple married in Washington who later retires to
“It’s going to be a mess for a few years,” Pedersen, an attorney, said.
Former Gov. Chris Gregoire, who made the same-sex marriage bill a priority in her final year in office, said the court realized that same-sex families are equal under the law. “I thank them for never giving up and for not stopping an undeniable truth, that we are all indeed created equal,” she said in a prepared statement.
Being recognized as legally married has some tax consequences for same-sex couples; some may pay less but others may pay more,
Jinkins said it may cost her and her partner more but she’s so happy to be able mark her 1040 as married, filing jointly that “I don’t care.”