LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
High Court: Ban On Benefits For Same-Sex Married Couples Unconstitutional

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) In a 5-to-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 26 struck down as unconstitutional Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as the legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife for purposes of all federal statutes...

Supreme Court Finds No Standing To Appeal Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) Proponents of California's Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage did not have standing to appeal a ruling finding the ballot initiative unconstitutional, the U.S. Supreme Court held June 26 in a 5-4 ruling ( Dennis Hollingsworth, et al. v. Kristin M. Perry, et...

DOMA Ruling Opens Doors for Immigration for Same-Sex Spouses

"A Hollywood genius might have been hard-pressed to produce a more perfect ending to Melanie Servetas' story. Servetas was marrying the love of her life Wednesday morning near a picturesque Rio de Janeiro beach. At the same time, the U.S. Supreme Court was striking down the 1996 Defense of Marriage...

For Gay Immigrants, Marriage Ruling Brings Relief and a Path to a Green Card

"The Supreme Court’s decision on Wednesday to strike down the federal law against same-sex marriage brought a stunning improvement in the lives of Steven Infante, an immigrant from Colombia, and his American husband — less than an hour after the ruling was announced. Mr. Infante and...

DHS: Implementation of Supreme Court Ruling on DOMA

"Statement from Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano: “After last week’s decision by the Supreme Court holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, President Obama directed federal departments to ensure the decision and its implication...

Federal District Court Awards Pension Benefit to Same-Sex Spouse

by Brian M. Pinheiro, Alisa M. Huth, and Diane A. Thompson, Ballard Spahr LLP The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has ordered a profit sharing plan to pay death benefits to the same-sex spouse of a deceased employee. This decision is the first to address same...

New U.S. Policy Gives Equal Treatment to Same-Sex Spouses’ Visa Applications

"The United States will treat the visa applications of same-sex married couples in the same manner as opposite-sex spouses, Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday, announcing a policy change set in motion in June, after the Supreme Court struck down a law against same-sex marriage. The policy...

Spousal / Marital Privileges

In United States v. Brock , 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 15574 (7th Cir. 2013). here , [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the Seventh Circuit offers a good summary of the marital privileges that can be invoked to prevent one spouse from testifying adversely to the other. The opinion is...

IRS Revenue Ruling - IRS Recognizes Same-Sex Marriages Regardless of Domicile

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service have ruled in Revenue Ruling 2013-17 that same-sex couples, legally married in a jurisdiction that recognizes their marriage, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes. The ruling applies even if the couple lives in a jurisdiction...

wedding scene outdoor

Virginia Department of Taxation Will Not Recognize Joint Returns for Same-Sex Couples After Windsor

BY: THOMAS W. ALDOUS, JR. The Virginia Department of Taxation recently announced that same-sex couples married in another state must file separate Virginia income tax returns even though they file a federal return as a married couple. Background . In United States v. Windsor , 186 L. Ed. 2d...

Inside the Canadian Visa Selection System

"It is always a mystery how immigration officials come to the conclusion if a marriage is genuine or fake, but now a new study has shed light on the inner thinking of the decision-makers. McMaster University professor Vic Satzewich was given rare access by Citizenship and Immigration Canada inside...

Skirmishes In States Over Same-Sex Marriage

SKIRMISHES IN STATES OVER SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Last week was a busy one for same-sex marriage, with significant developments on the issue in multiple states. Some of the biggest news came out of Nevada, where Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto (D) and Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) announced the state was...

Diana Richmond on Hollingsworth v. Perry and U.S. v. Windsor: After Jubilation, What?

Last month, as a result of the decision of United States District Court Judge John E. Jones III in Whitewood v. Wolf , 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68771 (M.D. Pa. May 20, 2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the State of Pennsylvania became the 19th state to recognize same-sex marriage...

You Won’t Believe This Case -- I Did Not Make This Up. Really!

Imagine this scenario for a second. A man is having marital problems. So he takes the not unreasonable step of visiting his priest to seek guidance. Unbeknownst to the man, however, the priest has been having an intimate relationship with the man’s wife. The priest fails to mention this detail...

Alaska: Death Benefits Must Be Made Available to the Deceased Employee's Same-Sex Partner in Spite of Alaska's Marriage Amendment

The Supreme Court of Alaska has ruled that the state’s workers’ compensation death benefits statute, Alaska Stat. § 23.30.215 is unconstitutional to the extent that it bars a deceased worker's same-sex partner from recovering survivors benefits while allowing such benefits to a deceased...

7th Cir. Explains What Same-Sex Marriage and Voter ID Have in Common

By Eric G. Pearson What do cases involving challenges to same-sex-marriage and voter ID laws have in common? The answer, according to a per curiam opinion issued last week by a panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Frank v. Walker , Nos. 14-2058 & 14-2059...

For Richer, For Poorer...For $5,000

"Oregon First Lady Cylvia Hayes today confessed to breaking federal law in 1997 by entering into an illegal marriage with an 18-year-old Ethiopian immigrant. Hayes, who is now engaged to Gov. John Kitzhaber, says she was paid approximately $5,000 to marry the man, Abraham B. Abraham. Hayes had kept...

State Net Capitol Journal Spotlight on Constitutional Rights: States Have Mixed Reaction To Court Rulings, Non-Rulings

In a historic non-decision, the United States Supreme Court last week allowed to stand — without comment — the rulings of three separate federal appeals courts striking down same-sex marriage bans across five states. The high court's decision prompted speculation that same-sex unions...

Divorce Equality Comes To New Jersey

By Peter J. Gallagher ( @pjsgallagher ) When asked about same-sex marriage, the musician/politician/author Kinky Friedman is quoted as having said: “I support gay marriage. I believe they have a right to be as miserable as the rest of us.” In a recent decision, Groh v. Groh , a New...

Pennsylvania: Exchange of Traditional, Native-American Vows Creates Common-Law Marriage

Evidence that, inter alia , a Native-American couple gathered outdoors with family and friends, had a ceremonial blanket placed upon their shoulders, and exchanged traditional vows and gifts in the manner of their cultural heritage was sufficient to establish a common-law marriage, held a Pennsylvania...

Supreme Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage is a Fundamental Right

On June 26, 2015, in a 5-4 decision authored by Justice Kennedy, the Supreme Court struck down the laws of those states that preclude same-sex marriage and also held that each state must recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed in other states. The Court held state laws invalidating same-sex marriage...

Cyrus D. Mehta: Will the San Bernardino Attack Make Marriages to Foreign Spouses More Difficult?

Cyrus D. Mehta, Dec. 14, 2015 - "Even if the K-1 visa is not curtailed by Congress (and hopefully that will not be the case), there is bound to be more scrutiny after the shootings. To be eligible for the K-1 visa, it is important that there be no legally valid marriage as the applicant must remain...

USCIS Grants Green Card 41-Years Later, Finally Recognizes 1975 Same-Sex Marriage

Sveta Apodaca, June 9, 2016 - "In a series of recent decisions, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have recognized as valid the April 21, 1975 marriage of two gay men, Richard Adams and Anthony Sullivan, leading to the agency’s...

Louisiana Isn’t Letting Immigrants Get Married

Catherine Rampell, Oct. 10, 2016 - "For an illustration of how cruel the country’s latest wave of nativism has grown, look to Louisiana. Here, a little-noticed new state law has effectively made it illegal for thousands of refugees to get married. It all started last year. Having lost...