Family law is complex, but is it different for same-sex couples? Keep reading for more information.
To understand state law surrounding same-sex marriages, it’s important to understand federal legal precedent. The Obergefell v. Hodges decision led to the federal legalization of same-sex marriage. According to the Supreme Court’s decision, same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry along with other benefits.
Federal legalization means an end to the confusion that stemmed from inconsistent state laws that began to take effect. Once the Obergefell v. Hodges decision came through, the government was able to establish a framework for benefits and protections for same-sex couples.
These benefits include:
- Social Security benefits based on a same-sex spouse’s work record
- Federal tax benefits including filing status, personal and dependency exemptions, standard deductions, child tax credits, and more
- The opportunity to petition for family-based visas as same-sex couples
The protections from this decision would make all federal marriage benefits accessible for same-sex couples, but the states would retain the power to interpret federal laws in their own way. Now, each state has its own restrictions and exceptions.
In Georgia, LGBTQ+ couples may get married and exercise the same rights as heterosexual couples. The state law still defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, but because of federal law, Georgia must recognize the constitutional rights of all same-sex couples.
GA residents have the right to:
- Have their marriage license approved
- The same benefits as heterosexual couples
- Have their out-of-state marriages recognized