The denial of marriage to same-sex couples is one of the harshest inequalities inflicted on lesbian and gay Americans and their loved ones. In addition to being deprived of the personal significance and social recognition that comes with marriage – what the Vermont Supreme Court called acknowledgment of “common humanity”– exclusion from marriage deprives same-sex couples of a vital legal and economic safety net that touches every aspect of life.
Marriage provides couples with thousands of state protections & responsibilities, including the ability to:
- Include a spouse or a spouse’s children on one’s health insurance policy
- Access public housing designated for married couples
- File joint state tax returns for shared income and property
Marriage provides couples with over a thousand federal protections & responsibilities, including the ability to:
- Share Social Security benefits with a spouse
- Sponsor a partner for a green card or U.S. citizenship
- File joint tax returns
Marriage – unlike a civil union or domestic partnership – assures full protections and respect. No other legal status provides the full range of tangible protections and the intangible personal significance of marriage.
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