New York's Newly Married Gay Couples Still Lack Some Civil Rights on Federal Level

Jul 25, 2011 - LegalZoom News Sources
Same-sex marriages still in need of federal civil rights

With New York celebrating its recent passing of the same-sex marriage law, thousands of couples have already taken advantage of the newly won right. But married gay couples still do not have all the civil rights afforded to married straight couples.

According to CBS News, same-sex couples may have equal civil rights in New York State, but federal law still does not acknowledge gay marriage and therefore gay couples may not have the same rights when it comes to family medical leave, income taxes and inheriting a spouse's social security benefits.

"There's even one case with a spouse of a veteran who's not entitled to be buried next to their spouse," Brad Sears, executive director of Williams Institute at UCLA Law School, told the news source.

Another trend is employers eliminating "domestic partner" as an option for health benefits in states where gay marriage is legal.

"There's not really a change in philosophy, the domestic partner benefit typically was put in to be fair, because they did not have the option of marriage," Helen Darling of the National Business Group on Health, told the news source.