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Once in a Lifetime Changes Ahead for Same-Sex Couples

Earlier in the year, the Obama administration stated that it would no longer enforce the federal “Defense of Marriage Act.”  The Act prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages and providing benefits to such couples. Now the administration appears to be in favor of outright overturning the Act.

The White House supports a proposal from California Senator Diane Feinstein. Feinstein’s bill is the “Respect for Marriage Act of 2011.” It has two purported aims: 1) repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, and 2) ensure respect for each state’s being able to regulate marriage. The 2011 Act says that the federal government will recognize any marriage as long as the marriage was valid in the state where it occurred.

The past year has seen drastic changes to the treatment of same-sex couples in the country. This latest Act would open the door to the federal government’s recognition of same-sex marriages and divorces because in some states (Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont) same-sex marriage is valid.

Texas does not recognize same-sex marriages, however, and the patchwork of laws and legal precedent throughout the country in each state and in the federal government make for a difficult situation for same-sex couples. In fact, it is not quite clear whether same-sex couples can divorce in Texas. Post your thoughts on states’ varying standards for same-sex marriage and on the changes sought by the Obama administration. Should this be a state-by-state decision?

John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C. – Houston divorce lawyers

By | 2016-12-08T16:19:29-06:00 August 3rd, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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