DOMA Strike-down Won't Extend Federal Benefits To Texas Same-Sex Couples

The Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act is unlikely to make a difference in the finances of same-sex couples in Texas.

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in United States v. Windsor means that same-sex married couples will have equal access to federal benefits. But the ruling’s financial aspects will not apply to citizens of Texas.

Dominic Cellitti is a Houston-based financial advisor with Morgan Stanley.

“Only twelve states recognize marriage of same-sex couples. So the implications of this at this point will only impact those in those twelve states. And in the thirty-six states that currently ban same-sex marriage, there’ll be really no essential implication.”

For such couples in states that recognize same-sex unions, the ruling will allow same-sex spouses to file joint tax returns, potentially lowering their overall liability. It also allows same-sex spouses to obtain spousal benefits on health insurance policies or to name each other as beneficiaries of pensions or retirement accounts.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...