Couples in South Carolina have been waiting a long time to marry and, based on the actions of state officials, have been forced to wait longer than couples who live in the other states in the Fourth Circuit. Because we know that these changes can be confusing, it is likely many families will have questions about what it all means.
The Supreme Court victory in United States v. Windsor striking down the discriminatory federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) affirms that all loving and committed couples who are married deserve equal legal respect and treatment from the federal government. The demise of DOMA marks a turning point in how the United States government treats the relationships of married same-sex couples for federal programs that are linked to being married.
See Further Guidance from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The OPM has issued guidance on Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protections for same-sex spouses. The Office of Government Ethics has issued guidance for federal employees with same-sex spouses, OGE, LA-13-10: "Effect of the Supreme Court’s Decision in United States v. Windsor on the Executive Branch Ethics Program."
On September 17, 2013, the Department of Health & Human Services issued SHO # 13-006, guidance for State Health Officials and Medicaid Directors on implications of the Windsor ruling for Medicaid and the Children's Health Program (CHIP).
On September 23, 2013, the IRS issued Notice 2013-61, providing guidance for employers and employees to claim refunds or adjust overpayments of FICA taxes and employment taxes with respect to certain benefits and remunerations provided to same-sex spouses.
In March 2014, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance for same-sex spouses seeking or receiving Medicare. The Social Security Administration (SSA), which coordinates Medicare enrollment with CMS, will now process some applications for premium-free Medicare Part A based on a spouse’s work history.
The Supreme Court’s historic ruling striking down Section 3 of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is an enormous victory for loving, married couples and their families, and affirms that they deserve equal treatment under the law. Read the introductory FAQ.
The Supreme Court’s historic ruling striking down Section 3 of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is an enormous victory for loving, married couples and their families, and affirms that they deserve equal treatment under the law. This victory demonstrates the importance of access to marriage, and gives married same-sex couples access to the tangible benefits of the federal safety net, allowing them to better protect one another and their children.