DOMA defeat offers benefits for same-sex couples

gay-coupleThe ruling made by the Supreme Court earlier in the summer that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act as being unconstitutional has opened a number of new doors for same-sex couples in the United States.  The legislation being overturned is seen as an enormous victory for the lesbian and gay communities and same-sex couples are now allowed to reap over 1,000 benefits related to marriage that were once only applicable to heterosexual married couples.

NBC News says that there is around 28,000 same-sex couples where one partner has US citizenship and the other does not, who will now be able to benefit from immigration rights.  The American citizens in these couples will now be able to petition for US visas for their partners.

Tax perks are also among the benefits now that the United States recognizes same-sex marriages as being legal.  The Internal Revenue Service offers benefits such as joint tax returns, tax exemptions and head of household deductions.  It is still advantageous to file the returns even if the salaries of the two partners now push their joint income into a higher tax bracket.

Employees at firms that offer tax-free health care benefits are also now eligible to gain coverage for their same-sex partners, and take advantage of emergency leave provisions so that they can take time off to care for their partner in the event of ill health.  The striking down of DOMA offers a multitude of benefits for same-sex partners, even above and beyond the immigration benefits.