U.S. Supreme Court

While the Supreme Court decision knocking down a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act is getting a lot of attention Tuesday, there's another ruling that's going to be of high interest to property owners across the nation.

U.S. Census Bureau

What do the rulings from the highest court in the United States mean for Florida's same-sex couples?  

We'll unpack the Supreme Court decisions and explain what impact they could have in the everyday lives of lesbian and gay couples, from tax filing to naturalization and wills.

The dual victories the Supreme Court handed to gay-marriage supporters Wednesday seemed to temporarily shift the focus of the fight from Washington to the states.

For instance, one of the more notable reactions to the Supreme Court decisions overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and upholding a lower court ruling that blocked California's Proposition 8 from taking effect came from the American Civil Liberties Union.

Danny Hammontree/Flickr

The benefits will be substantial for those who get them, but the beneficiaries of the U. S. Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Federal Defense of Marriage Act are just a small subset of  Florida's LGBT population.

They are the couples with marriage licenses from states where same-sex marriage is legal. Until now, DOMA prevented them from receiving tax breaks, Social Security, pension considerations and myriad other benefits that the federal government extends to married couples.

Amy Sherman

The Defense of Marriage Act has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States on the basis of equal protection.

The 5-4 ruling came down at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, sending waves of excitement across the nation.

Initial reactions online were lively comments from liberals who saw this legal development as the end of an era: 

NPR

The U.S. Supreme Court is finishing its year with rulings on three major cases: affirmative action in college admissions, the pre-clearance requirements of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the status of gay marriage (Prop 8 and DOMA.)

Join host Linda Wertheimer tonight with guests Ron Elving, Senior Washington Editor; Nina Totenberg, Legal Affairs Correspondent; Tom Goldstein, publisher of SCOTUSblog and Michael Fauntroy, Associate Professor of Political Science at Howard University for an hour-long special that will look at these rulings and reflect on the past year.

The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision Wednesday to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act is a monumental victory for advocates of same-sex marriage.

But what happens now that the 1996 federal law that confines marriage to a man and a woman has been declared unconstitutional?

Will federal benefits flow only to same-sex married couples living in states that recognize their unions?

Pages