12 states either have gay marriage legalized now or will be soon (like MN, it's effective 8/1).<quoted text>As soon as straight couples living together make a publicly recorded,legally binding commitment to each other with responsibilities as well as rights, well sure.
(The kicker is that in IL hetero couples can have a civil union and I have not heard that the difference between marriage and a civil union has been tested yet.. I have no doubt it is coming, though).
Keep in mind that what this decision says is that in states which allow gay marriage, the couples are to be treated as married by the Federal government. The case started with estate taxes, but I see revised requests for social security, tons and tons of amended tax returns - it is times like this that I really miss Andie J btw- and after that my imagination fails me. First though the state has to pass gay marriage. IMHO civil union is not the same and won't get you the Federal benefits.
Red is the house expert: which states allow gay marriage at this point?
FWIW I don't think the CA fight is over. From what the news reports are saying , a Federal District judge ruled it was unconstitutional. Someone appealed. The appeal itself was challenged on the basis that the people who brought it didn't have a legal dog in the fight, they had no "standing". SCOTUS agreed that the appeal was not valid for that reason. Thus what is left is a 1st level Federal judge's order which can be attacked, or re-litigated in another case.
In Minnesota, you are required to file your state income taxes the same way you filed federal, so without this DOMA ruling, a gay couple still couldn't file "jointly/married" in Minnesota because they couldn't file that way at the federal level.
The estate tax angle was huge -- a woman had to pay over a quarter million dollars in estate taxes that she wouldn't have had to pay had the government recognized her marriage of over 40 years.