Massachusetts has long been a state that has set the standard for same-sex marriage. Since it legalized same-sex marriage, several other states have followed. Proponents argue that it is a basic right that should not be denied. Since the Supreme Court ruled on the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, litigation regarding same-sex marriage has exploded due to the hope that the unconstitutionality of bans could be successfully argued.
The path to equality has been a long, slow battle for some groups in this country. However, recent court rulings are increasingly providing more and more rights to same-sex couples, even for those couples who live in states such as Massachusetts that have allowed same-sex marriage for years. In a recent speech, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder outlined several federal benefits that will be applied to couples who have obtained a legal same-sex marriage.
In the majority of circumstances, the arrival of a new baby is longed-for, sought after and happily anticipated. The extreme joy that most parents experience at the arrival of their brand new bundle of joy is often difficult for those who do not have children to fully understand. However, some of that joy is dampened for same-sex partners. While couples in Massachusetts may have a somewhat easier time because their marriages is recognized by the state, compared to same-sex couples where same-sex marriage is banned, they may encounter complications if they leave the state. One couple in a nearby state wants to reduce some of these potential complications by seeking a same-sex partner adoption even though the non-biological parent is recognized as a legal parent in their current state.
Many states have started analyzing the way child custody is awarded by judges. More and more are considering the possibility that child custody be awarded in a 50/50 split except when domestic violence or substance abuse is an issue. In Massachusetts, a task force is currently working to propose a new statute governing how child custody is awarded.