By Shannon Hennessey from Frutkin Law Firm.


Does the law allow all gay couples to get married immediately?

A same-sex couple’s right to marry now exists – period; but depending on where a couple lives, there could be logistical obstacles preventing the ceremony from happening immediately.

There is a 25 day wait period before a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court technically becomes official. This is in place to allow the losing party to request a re-hearing on the matter before the Supreme Court. Those requests are seldom granted. Most of the states that had a same-sex marriage ban prior to the Court’s ruling appear to be recognizing the Court’s decision and immediately issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. On the other hand, there are states using the 25-day time period to postpone implementing the Court’s ruling.


For states with a ban on gay marriage, can they appeal the decision?

When the Supreme Court declares a law unconstitutional (such as laws banning same-sex marriage), the Supreme Court’s decision can only be overruled by a later decision of the Supreme Court or by an amendment to the Constitution.


What legal rights does this give to same-sex married couples?

The decision of the Supreme Court protects the right of same-sex couples to marry and to have that marriage recognized in each and every state. By virtue of that right, same-sex married couples are now able to:

File joint state tax returns; (same-sex married couples were given the right to file joint federal tax returns in 2013);

Inherit as a spouse under intestacy laws;

Receive spousal benefits such as those from worker’s compensation; and

Be protected under spousal privilege with respect to legal testimony;


How this will impact Arizonans and the US overall?

The decision by the Supreme Court has opened the door for other LGBT related issues to come to the forefront. No doubt the U.S. Supreme Court and the high Courts of the individual states will be reviewing:

Whether same-sex married couples are entitled to the same presumption with respect to parentage and the same preferences under adoption laws as heterosexual married couples.

Whether people of faith can exercise religion in a way that interferes with a same-sex couple’s right to marry.

Whether protections should be in place to prevent discrimination against an individual for having a same-sex spouse.