Friday’s monumental ruling concerning same-sex marriage from the Nation’s highest court may give same-sex couples more cause for celebration than originally thought.
In a vote of 5-4 on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled to allow same-sex couples the same rights to marriage as their heterosexual counterparts. The ruling forces all 50 states, including the 13 states that previously held out on allowing gay marriage, to legalize the marriages between gay and lesbian couples. Even more notably, it will force all 50 states to recognize the unions, making getting some benefits that were previously out of reach of gay couples easier to achieve.
Before the announcement on Friday, a same-sex couple that was married in a state where the union is legal, but resides in a state where gay marriage is not, found themselves unable to receive some of the same financial benefits that were afforded to straight married couples. Since the state that they reside in did not recognize the marriage as legal, couples had issues with obtaining spousal Social Security and Military Veteran benefit payments. Both benefits are based on the state where the couple resides and married gay couples found that their requests for their spouses’ benefits were denied. Today’s ruling will now allow all married couples, regardless of their sexual orientation, the ability to receive the payments and benefits that they are now legally owed.
Married gay couples may also see a financial gain at their workplace with potential changes to the taxes and benefits there as well. Many employers had to create separate systems to calculate taxes and benefit packages for their same-sex, married employees that were higher than those same benefits charged to heterosexual, married employees. This tax difference would cause the employers to have to raise the pay amount of the gay employee to compensate for the difference. It is estimated that the legalization of gay marriage may save employers up to $1.3 billion, an attractive perceptive to the 379 companies that wrote to the Supreme Court urging them to legalize same-sex marriage.
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