Thursday, February 27, 2014

UPDATE: Marriage Map

This week there have been a number of changes affecting civil marriage laws in the United States.  So, it is time for another map update:

a. Yet another Federal judge -the 6th I think- has ruled that a state's ban on offering civil marriage and its benefits and responsibilities to same-sex couples violates the US Constitution.  This week a judge in Texas ruled that the Texas ban was unconstitutional.  The ruling has a stay on it while the case can be appealed by the state government.

b. In Kentucky another Federal judge today lifted his stay on an earlier ruling that the Bluegrass State must recognize marriages legally performed in other states.  The state's Democratic Attorney General has asked for a 90 day stay so that the state can decide to either appeal or prepare.  For KY's couples married out of state, confusion abounds about how to complete their taxes.  Currently they can file jointly their Federal returns as married but must submit state returns separately as single.  No word yet on how today's decision will affect tax filings.

c. The increasingly legal complexities are making my little map also more complex.  I've now added Ohio to the states recognizing out-of-state marriages because the Federal court ruling there orders the state to recognize such marriages on death certificates.  This ruling, however, if on appeal too.

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