Immigration and Other Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses

The U.S. Supreme Court held today that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, saying DOMA's "unusual deviation from the tradition of recognizing and accepting state definitions of marriage operates to deprive same-sex couples of the benefits and responsibilities that come with federal recognition of their marriages." (page 2) The Obama Administration had declined to enforce or defend the constitutionality of DOMA, but nevertheless DOMA prohibited federal recognition of same-sex marriages that are lawfully entered in a U.S. state or another country, and blocked U.S. immigration benefits for same-sex spouses.  Twelve U.S. states and many other countries provide for lawful same-sex marriages.  The case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. v. Windsor, involved a marriage under Canadian law... Read more.