It seems that the status of gay rights is in the news almost daily. One often hears comments that we have “come so far”. But how true is that?
In fact, despite a continuous stream of breaking developments and litigation, the true progress of the country in allowing gay marriage remains relatively stagnant. Massachusetts was the first state to legalize gay marriage on May 17, 2004, after the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional under the State Constitution to prohibit same sex marriage. Thereafter, 14 states followed: Vermont, Connecticut, Iowa, California, New Jersey, Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maryland, Maine, New York, and, finally, Hawaii, on December 2, 2013.
Despite the legalization of gay marriage in the foregoing states, it remains a deeply turbulent issue that generates substantial press attention. Because the rights of gay couples to marry has not been vindicated fully by federal law or jurisprudence, however, couples effectively can still be forced to remain in a specific state solely for recognition of their marital status and tax benefits. These issues are further complicated by custody and support rights for children of same sex marriages.
The attorneys at Keil & Siegel LLP are educated and skilled at advising same sex couples on all rights and remedies affecting their status under the law.