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Category Archives: Same Sex Marriage

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SUPREME COURT TO TAKE UP SAME-SEX MARRIAGE? SIXTH CIRCUIT DECISION SETS UP APPEAL

Posted in Same Sex Marriage

The momentum of success experienced by marriage equality advocates experienced its first set back on Tuesday, November 4th when the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee) ruled 2-1 that the states had the right to set their own rules for marriage and that any changes to the definition of “marriage”… Continue Reading

WINDSOR DECISION AFFECTS RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS

Posted in Equitable Distribution, Practice Issues, Same Sex Marriage, Taxes

Last May, Susan Foreman Jordan in our Pittsburgh office issued a very informative alert on the impact of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor on the IRS and Department of Labor recognition of same-sex marriages. Susan identifies and explains how the IRS and Department of Labor clarified, so as to… Continue Reading

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LEGAL IN PENNSYLVANIA

Posted in Divorce, Same Sex Marriage

This afternoon,U.S. District Judge John Jones ruled that Pennsylvania’s version of the Defense of Marriage Act banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. This decision, out of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, paves the way for legal, same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania. The repercussions of this decision remain to be seen, however, since there are other pending cases… Continue Reading

SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTIONS IN PA SAME-SEX MARRIAGE CASE MAY PROMPT EARLY DECISION FROM COURT

Posted in Divorce, Same Sex Marriage

The battle over same-sex marriage rights in Pennsylvania has been simmering since last summer when concurrent litigation was initiated in a few different judicial venues. One case was filed in the Middle District of Pennsylvania and involves as plaintiffs eleven couples, two minor children, and a widow to a long-term partner. Having had the winter… Continue Reading

NO EMAIL – IS YOUR LAWYER OLD SCHOOL OR IRRESPONSIBLE

Posted in Adoption, Alimony, Custody, Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Practice Issues, Prenuptial Agreements, Protection from Abuse, Same Sex Marriage, Support

A South Carolina attorney was recently disciplined for failing to have an active email address. Despite characterizing herself as “retired” and not having a client in thirty years, the South Carolina Disciplinary Board still found that she “poses a substantial threat of serious harm to the public and to the administration of justice” for repeatedly… Continue Reading

IRS Allows Same-Sex Couples to File Married

Posted in Same Sex Marriage

On September 12th, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court issued a ruling which barred the Montgomery County Orphan’s Court Clerk, D. Bruce Hanes, from issuing any more same-sex marriage licenses.  As an example of the near constant local and national machinations of the same-sex marriage and the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision, a few days… Continue Reading

COMMONWEALTH COURT ORDERS HALT TO ISSUANCE OF MARRIAGE LICENSES TO SAME SEX COUPLE.

Posted in Same Sex Marriage

In a ruling issued on September 12, 2013, after considering over 500 pages of briefs filed by many “interested” parties the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court issued an injunction proscribing the issuance of marriage licenses to same sex couples in violation of a 1996 statute limiting marriage to persons of the opposite sex. While it appears that… Continue Reading

INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE WILL RECOGNIZE SAME SEX MARRIAGES NO MATTER WHERE THE COUPLE LIVES, IF VALIDLY CONTRACTED

Posted in Same Sex Marriage

In a revenue ruling issued on August 29, the US Department of Treasury has announced that it will treat legally married same sex couples as qualified to file joint federal income tax returns without regard to whether their state of residence gives legal recognition to that status.  The key element is that the couple must… Continue Reading

“Windsor” Case is Decided – Cases Continue to Accumulate in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage

Posted in Same Sex Marriage

The case of  Cozen O’Connor v. Tobits was on administrative hold by U.S. District Judge C. Darnell Jones II pending the recent U.S. Supreme Court’s decision regarding the Defense of Marriage Act. The Cozen O’Connor case involves the distribution of retirement benefits from a deceased attorney’s profit-sharing plan to her spouse, Jennifer Tobits. The case really deals with ERISA language… Continue Reading

SAME SEX MARRIAGE IN PENNSYLVANIA

Posted in Same Sex Marriage

Given the decisions regarding Same Sex Marriage handed down by the Supreme Court of the United States in Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor, the issue of Same Sex Marriage at the state level has become increasingly important. Two recent developments have taken place in Pennsylvania which will bring the issue to a… Continue Reading

Same-Sex Marriage License in Montgomery County?

Posted in Same Sex Marriage

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s decision not to have the Attorney General’s Office defend the state’s version of the Defense of Marriage of Act justifies its own analysis, but in the mean time, it appears that Montgomery County’s Register of Wills was prepared to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple today.  Though the couple backed… Continue Reading

DOMA AND THE CONSTITUTION

Posted in Same Sex Marriage

June 27, 2013.  Yesterday was a landmark day in America.  The United States Supreme Court ruled that a statute passed by a large majority of both houses of Congress (by 5:1 margins) and approved as law by President Clinton on subjects related directly to the operation of the national government was unconstitutional because it encroached… Continue Reading

DOMA is Unconstitutional

Posted in Divorce, Same Sex Marriage

The United States Supreme Court issued their decision on gay marriage earlier today.  The Court ruled on California’s Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage and the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), which denied federal benefits to lawfully married same-sex couples, finding that DOMA is unconstitutional and sending Proposition 8 back to California. The… Continue Reading

Marriage Equality Act Passes in Delaware

Posted in Same Sex Marriage

Earlier this month Delaware became the eleventh state to legalize same sex marriage when they passed Marriage Equity Act in the state Senate.  Passage was fairly close with 12 voting for the Act and 9 voting against it in the Senate, while the House had earlier passed it 23 in favor to 18 against.  Leslie… Continue Reading

New Article on the Defense of Marriage Act Litigation and Its Impact on Pennsylvania Cases

Posted in Same Sex Marriage

There has been quite a bit of litigation and court decisions related to the Defense of Marriage Act and how it impacts state laws and the ability of states to enact federal laws due to different definitions of what constitutes “marriage;” traditionally, states have been left to decide how to handle domestic issues and the… Continue Reading