DOMA decision will grant equal rights to MN couples - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

DOMA decision will grant equal rights to MN couples

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

On May 13, the Minnesota Capitol was filled with cheering crowds after the Senate voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court's decision to rule DOMA unconstitutional on June 26 takes Minnesota's passage to a new level.

THE CASE

You have 83-year-old Edith Windsor to thank for the Supreme Court's decision to rule DOMA unconstitutional. Windsor's wife and partner of 44 years died four years ago, and Windsor was handed a hefty estate tax bill of over $300,000.

Windsor's case against the IRS lead to Wednesday's landmark Supreme Court Decision that effectively granted same-sex couples the same federal rights as heterosexual couples in states that recognize same-sex marriage.

"I lived with and loved Thea for four decades in love and joy through sickness and in health ‘til death do us part," Windsor said.

Read more about the Supreme Court's decision: http://bit.ly/12qGI4k

MINNESOTA IMPACT

Last month, Minnesota legalized same-sex marriage, but without today's ruling, those couples would be missing out on 1,138 federal rights and benefits.

Benefits include:

-Social security survivor benefits

-Tax on employer-provided health benefits

-Estate tax benefits

-Taxation of 401(k) savings: Spouses can transfer retirement plan benefits without incurring significant penalties. They can also withdraw funds whenever they choose.

-Family and medical leave

-Immigration rights: Spouses can petition for a same-sex partner to immigrate.

-Employee benefits for federal workers

-Military spousal benefits

WHAT'S NEXT

Couples living in states that have not legalized same-sex marriage cannot receive those federal benefits. There are still 38 states that prohibit same sex marriage either though law or constitutional amendments -- the very the same type of referendum that majority of Minnesotans voted against last November.

OTHER OPINIONS

7 DOMA decision reactions from Minnesota worth reading: http://bit.ly/18gsv2u

Michele Bachmann's statement: http://bit.ly/11IR0BA

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