Challenges to an LGBT Union.

The recent demise of DOMA by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Windsor case has brought into the mainstream millions of citizens who were previously deprived of their constitutional right to equal protection under the law.  It has affected, not only many children living in limbo, but partners who were financially penalized by the IRS, many pension plans, and even real estate ventures.

It is refreshing to see the speed with which so many states have joined the "bandwagon"... as in sports, everyone likes to back a winner.  A recent article noted that judges are now increasingly backing the flood of enthusiasm for equal rights for fear that their grandchildren would otherwise consider them biased.  With the law behind them, they are finally enabled to do the right thing, and can no longer have any excuse not to do so!!!

Since it is not yet the law in each state, it is important for same sex couples who choose to marry to also get a Domestic Partnership, should they find themselves for any reason, in a state which does recognize such civil agreements, but have not yet validated marriage.  Those who have recently married should consult a tax specialist to see if they qualify to get a tax refund based on amended federal tax returns for the prior three years when they could not file jointly.

In addition, those who have a child in a same sex relationship, even if two or more names are on the birth certificate, should make sure that there is a second parent adoption... again, if they and their offspring should be in a state which does not yet recognize shared parentage.

While we are on the way to a citizenry that increasingly advocates equal protection, not every state has done its job in assuring that "state ways" keeps up with "folk ways".  There is the inevitable lag between what is right, and what is legal.  To make sure that each family unit is as legally protected as possible in each state, it is always wise to seek legal and tax counsel.