DOMA Strike-down Won’t Extend Federal Benefits To Texas Same-Sex Couples

The Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act is unlikely to make a difference in the finances of same-sex couples in Texas.


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The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in United States v. Windsor means that same-sex married couples will have equal access to federal benefits. But the ruling’s financial aspects will not apply to citizens of Texas.

Dominic Cellitti is a Houston-based financial advisor with Morgan Stanley.

“Only twelve states recognize marriage of same-sex couples. So the implications of this at this point will only impact those in those twelve states. And in the thirty-six states that currently ban same-sex marriage, there’ll be really no essential implication.”

For such couples in states that recognize same-sex unions, the ruling will allow same-sex spouses to file joint tax returns, potentially lowering their overall liability. It also allows same-sex spouses to obtain spousal benefits on health insurance policies or to name each other as beneficiaries of pensions or retirement accounts.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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