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Legal AnalysisMarriage Equality

Love & the Law: A Polar Vortex Campfire Tale

By February 5, 2014No Comments

Amidst Polar Vortex 1 of January 2014, a group of wonderful folks and yours truly sat around a warm office, invited by IntraSpectrum , discussing  LGBTQ relationship rights. I introduced them to my series Love & the Law, here, as briefly as I could and we had a great time.

So, really, what does all of this mean? Well, my rockstar intern, Emily Welter, boiled down my hefty remarks into a few poignant and fabulous images and take-aways:

equality then




The equality fight then…




equality 2014




The equality fight now…




yellow brick road



and …



and …





Much like Dorothy and her gang, our Nation’s lawmakers have been “following a yellow brick road” to marriage equality for over 50 years. We have come a long way from the 1966 case of Loving v. Virginia and we continue to make positive strides towards that “Emerald City” of equal love.

Below are 8 key points to know about the legal changes that took place in 2013 – aka the “Watershed Year” – which have affected Estate Planning for today’s LGBT couples:

(1)    Several States passed marriage equality laws;

(2)    SCOTUS (“Supreme Court of the United States”) ruled in favor of lesbian surviving spouse, Edith Windsor;

(3)    SCOTUS ordered the IRS to treat legally married same-sex couples the same as straight married couples;

(4)    The IRS mandated equal treatment of legally married LGBTQ couples for all tax treatment;

(5)    The IRS called employers to issue FICA refunds to legally married LGBTQ couples;

(6)    The IRS called on other agencies to comply with the new IRS rules;

(7)    USCIS removed its barrier to legally married LGBTQ immigrant spouses; AND, finally

(8)    Illinois passed same sex marriage!



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