In a landmark ruling last week, The U.S. Supreme Court declared same-sex
marriage legal nationwide. The split 5-4 decision comes following years
of hard-fought, state-by-state legalization victories by lawmakers and
activists and marks a profound civil rights victory for LGBT communities
all over the country.
Speaking for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote passionately about
the decision and what it undeniably will mean for a community that has
been long-denied both the recognition and benefits marriage offers. "Their
hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of
civilization's oldest institutions," he wrote. "They ask
for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them
President Obama was also moved by the decision and spoke to the public
later that day, highlighting the long journey activists, organizers, and
supporters have had to take towards national legalization. "I know
a change for many of our LGBT brothers and sisters must have seemed so
slow for so long," he remarked. "Sometimes there are days like
this, when that slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives
like a thunderbolt."
Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004.
New York was one of many other states to follow and enacted its own Marriage
Equality Act in 2011. At the time of this newest Supreme Court ruling,
thirteen states still had a ban on same-sex marriage.
How does the decision effect New York?
Even though same-sex couples in New York have been able to marry for some
time, the Supreme Court decision has a major effect on same-sex marriages
as a whole. Previously, same-sex couples were denied certain federally-provided
marriage benefits—even when their state granted them a marriage
license. These benefits, including Social Security benefits, tax benefits,
federal employment benefits, and others, will now be provided to all married
couples in America.
For more information on what this decision means for your marriage, contact
The Meyers Law Group, P.C. today. Our firm is proud to have long-supported same-sex marriage rights
and looks forward to finally being able to extend the full scope of our
services to all deserving married couples and families in our community.
Retain a Long Island family law attorney you can trust to help navigate
this new and exciting time.
Contact us today.