Okay this is really important. ALL federal employees who are legally married are now entitled to ALL federal benefits. These benefits are NOT contingent on the state in which you reside. SO, you can be a queer couple living in Texas, but if you have a NY State marriage certificate, you’re good on benefits. This is an example of where it really MATTERS who is writing the regulations. A President Christie (*shudder!*) would have interpreted the DOMA decision quite differently, correctly noting that Article 2 of DOMA is still good law–hence there’s no need for federal benefits for those folks residing in hater states (like TX) or half-baked hater states (like NJ).
Props to the Obama team for a very ELASTIC reading of Windsor. (And thank you!)
And a major question to Gov. Christie: Do you really want to be the George Wallace of your generation? You’re going to chase all of the queer Wall Streeters out of New Jersey with your hatred. That’s a lot of $$$$$ to put at risk. Just sayin…..
UPDATE: I suspect the Obama administration will NOT construe Domestic Partnerships and Civil Unions as equivalent as marriage, since the Court did not do this. That said, if they count a valid marriage license to be “valid everywhere” for federal tax purposes, the fights over “gay marriage” largely become moot. It doesn’t matter how much Chris Christie blusters, he can’t stop federal benefits from flowing to married queer New Jersey residents. We’ll just have to go out of state to “get married.” (And NY gets our wedding dollars!). Stay tuned folks. Things are bound to get VERY interesting.