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.
People going on long trips often know the complications of travel. There are bags to pack, ensuring that all items and potential weather contingencies are accounted for. If they have pets, travelers must secure care for the pet or make travel arrangements. If there are children involved, especially young children, there are additional cares and concerns. Unfortunately for parents who have taken advantage of same-sex marriage laws in Massachusetts who travel to a state that doesn't recognize their marriage, there is an entirely different set of problems that may occur.
Advocates for same-sex marriage have been celebrating two different rulings by the United States Supreme Court that many see as major victories for their cause. However, things aren't completely smooth sailing for same-sex couples, especially those seeking a same-sex divorce. Because same-sex marriages are relatively new element in family law, only legalized in Massachusetts in 2004, the court system has been struggling to keep up with the law. Because many states currently do not have procedures in place to handle such a divorce, the process can often be more complicated and expensive than a heterosexual divorce.
Even before the Supreme Court ruling against the Defense of Marriage Act, divorce was tricky, at best, for couples married in states that allow same-sex marriage, such as Massachusetts, but living in a state that bans it. Now, weeks after the ruling, states seem to be muddling through the implications of the ruling on individual states. One couple seeking a same-sex divorce has become very familiar with the effects of marrying in one state, and divorcing in another.