SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — The U.S. Supreme Court is taking up two major same-sex marriage cases this week. The first is Proposition Eight, which bans gay marriage in California. The second is the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
People hoping the court will declare the two laws unconstitutional held a rally outside the Federal Court House in Springfield Monday night.
“I believe all LGBT community should have the same legal rights, federally, to be recognized as a legally married couple,” said Toni Acevedo.
Acevedo and her partner Leia have been married for the last three years. Because of the federal law, each year Leia and Toni have to file their taxes as individuals instead of a married couple. If they leave Massachusetts their marriage is legally at risk.
“If we were to move to Missouri, we wouldn’t have rights there so,” said Leia Acevedo.
“If someone was in a legal marriage here in Massachusetts and moves to another state, section two of DOMA does say that the other states do not have to recognize the marriage entered into in Massachusetts,” said Bernadette Stark, attorney.
Stark is a family and domestic relations attorney in Northampton. She’s seen the Defense of Marriage Act create legal problems for her clients.
“So there is a lot of special planning and additional legal expenses that same-sex couples have in incur,” said Stark.
These legal issues and extra planning include health insurance coverage, taxes and next of kin rights.
The Supreme Court is expected to make their rulings on the two cases and release their opinions in June.