Supreme Court Marriage Ruling Unties Couples’ Personal-Finance Knot

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June 26 — The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide will remove tax and personal-finance headaches that have bedeviled gay couples.

The 5-4 decision by the court on June 26 is a particularly significant victory for many residents of the 14 states where same-sex marriages were banned, often under state constitutional amendments (Obergefell v. Hodges, U.S., No. 14-556, 2015 BL 204916, 6/26/15).

Gay and lesbian couples who are married will now be able to file joint state tax returns, inherit property easily and have hospital-visitation rights, just like opposite-sex couples can. In his majority opinion, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy cited these and other practical benefits of marriage as a reason to require states to recognize same-sex marriages.