The recent Supreme Court ruling that same-sex marriages are now legal in all 50 states has potentially done much more than just allow members of the LGBT community to marry. There are also some legal issues that go along with the ruling in terms of marital benefits and legal name associations. There will clearly have to be some augmentation on the part of the bureaucratic agencies that handle legal filings for those in the LGBT community.
The list of legal issues that will eventually be impacted is still being determined, but there are some automatic legal rights that will begin immediately. This could easily be the newest emerging field of law for many legal professionals. Discrimination against members of the LGBT population has traditionally been technically allowable in many instances, but now that type of bureaucratic or social behavior will also be required to cease.
Housing is a particular area of discrimination that will impact the legal rights of the LGBT community. Many apartment complexes and rental agencies have refused to allow couples to live in company rental units or houses because of the makeup of the household. Traditional marriages were rarely denied occupancy as long as rent payments could be met. Any members of a household outside of the nuclear family could be denied occupancy as a household member, based on any reason that the rental company wanted to claim. Same-sex marriages are now legal in the eyes of law, and that includes eligibility for adequate housing. The discrimination in the past has led to the propensity for a disproportionate number of LGBT community members to live in substandard housing or impoverished neighborhoods at an increased rate.
2. Financial Benefits
The recent Supreme Court ruling will also impact how social security and private retirement benefits are paid. There will clearly be some augmentation in the eligibility terminology, and retroactive claims will probably not be approved. Depending on the current length of a marriage, many same-sex spouses will be eligible for the right to draw from their partner's tax receipt records after having been married for a designated period of time. Pension plan benefits are also payable to spouses upon the death of the primary plan holder, as well as a share in other forms of wealth depending on the state in which they reside. Married LGBT couples can now also legally share health care policies.
3. Name Rights
While this may seem like a small issue, as anyone can change their legal name for any reason, this can be an issue for a married couple when it comes to deciding on a family name. Additionally, the issue can be compounded when the couple attempts to adopt a child. Both names can now be added to the adoption record as equal parents, and the denial of an adoption application cannot be validated because the couple is in a same-sex marriage. Many members of the LGBT community already have children from previous marriages, and the formation of some type of normal nuclear family unit is now possible for the affected citizens.
4. Divorce Rights
Of course, when the government is finally instructed to recognize same-sex marriages, it is also a requirement to recognize same-sex divorce rights. One of the most concentrated areas where LGBT community members reside in is California, a state that utilizes community property divorce law. This can be significant when a married same-sex couple divorces. Similar to the palimony legal doctrine, this will also be an area where spouses have full marriage rights to accumulated property or an accustomed style of living. The issues here will prove to be complicated in many cases, but this will still eventually be an emerging legal issue.
These are just a few of the legal issues that will be additions to the other issues that will develop over time while the new ruling on same-sex marriage is implemented throughout the legal system. This is truly a landmark ruling that will spur legal activity and claims for many of those claiming legal protection under the new precedent. Bullying may also be an area of illegal activity that could receive more focus, especially with respect to issues ranging from physical assault to verbal attack on social media outlets. The legal landscape will continue to change with the new marriage ruling, as society moves incrementally to adjust to the new law, which is also already seeing pockets of resistance among government officials in many local agencies in some conservative states.