Supreme Court repeals DOMA

Lesbian stepMarcia Szymanski weighs in on the ruling

In July 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision favoring gay marriage. With that ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, is unconstitutional as a deprivation of equal liberty for all that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.

"I was very excited when I heard the news from the Supreme Court," says Marcia. "I called Sharon right away."

Prior to the July court ruling, DOMA prevented the federal government from recognizing any marriages other than those between a man and woman. This meant same-sex couples legally married in states that recognize same-sex marriages were barred from receiving federal benefits, like joint tax filing, survivorship benefits, immigration sponsorship and veterans' benefits.

"This ruling means we will finally get full recognition of our family," says Marcia. "We'll finally have access to the things that heterosexual married couples take for granted." Marcia went on to say the ruling more specifically affects her relationship with Sharon's children.

Now Marcia will have full recognition as Mollie and Jacob's step-parent in federal jurisdictions and benefits, which is important because Mollie is disabled. For Marcia, she is most looking forward to being able to file a joint federal tax return and avoiding the headache of filing separate federal tax returns and joint state tax returns.