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Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), is a U.S. federal law that allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed under the laws of other states and which restricted federal marriage benefits. The law passed both houses of Congress by large majorities and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996. Section 3 of DOMA had codified the non-recognition of same-sex marriages for all federal purposes, including insurance benefits for government employees, Social Security survivors’ benefits, immigration, and the filing of joint tax returns.

Section 3 of DOMA was found unconstitutional in eight federal courts, including the First and Second Circuit Court of Appeals, on issues including bankruptcy, public employee benefits, estate taxes, and immigration. The U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor declared Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional on June 26, 2013, “as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.” [ Wikipedia → ]

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Social Security begins processing survivor benefits for same-sex spouses

Monday, December 16, 2013
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WASHINGTON — The Social Security Administration (SSA) said Monday it has begun processing, and paying, some survivor’s benefits for married, same-sex couples.

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Married, gay students to receive equal treatment in college loan applications

Friday, December 13, 2013
Arne Duncan
WASHINGTON -- Students in same-sex marriages will be treated the same as their straight married classmates when it comes to federal college loan applications, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Friday in a shift that reflects this year's Supreme Court ruling that broadened gay rights.

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Pope Francis named Time magazine’s Person of the Year

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
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NEW YORK -- Time magazine selected Pope Francis as its Person of the Year on Wednesday, saying the Catholic Church's new leader has changed the perception of the 2,000-year-old institution in an extraordinary way in a short time.

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Va. tax department implements ‘hateful’ guidelines for married, same-sex couples

Monday, December 2, 2013
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RICHMOND, Va. -- The state of Virginia has released new tax guidelines for legally married same-sex couples, establishing what is being called some of the most complicated and harshest policies by any state tax department against same-sex couples.

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New Jersey, neighboring Pennsylvania spotlight same-sex marriage efforts

Saturday, October 19, 2013
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HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvania and New Jersey are on tracks that could lead to the Northeast being the first full region in the country to legalize same-sex marriage -- but the routes are hardly parallel and the horsepower anything but equal.

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Utah says married, same-sex couples must file state taxes separately

Friday, October 11, 2013
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SALT LAKE CITY -- State officials are notifying gay couples that Utah's policy about joint tax returns is unchanged despite recent federal recognition of same-sex couples.

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Idaho lawmaker questions legality of new tax rules for married, same-sex couples

Tuesday, October 8, 2013
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BOISE, Idaho -- A state lawmaker contends that Idaho's tax collectors risk violating the U.S. Constitution by requiring same-sex couples who are legally married elsewhere to do extra work when filing their state income taxes.

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Louisiana, Jindal administration at odds with federal benefits rules

Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.)
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Federal regulations are loosening to offer more benefits to same-sex married couples around the nation, but not so in Louisiana, where Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration is complicating how couples can get those federal benefits.

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Kansas latest state to rule married, gay couples must file taxes as singles

Saturday, October 5, 2013
Kansas
WICHITA, Kan. -- Kansas tax officials issued a ruling Friday saying same-sex couples must file their state income tax returns as if each person were single, even if they filed as married on their federal returns.

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Montana: Legally married same-sex couples may not file joint state tax return

Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Montana state capitol in Helena, Mont.
HELENA, Mont. -- Montana's state Revenue Director said Tuesday that same-sex couples legally married in other states may not file joint state income-tax returns.

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