Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Downside Of Recognizing Gay Marriages

As Same-Sex Marriage Becomes Legal, Some Choices May Be Lost is an interesting July 8, 2011 article from the New York Times. It points out that there may be some negative consequences to gay individuals who live in a state that recognizes gay marriage and decide to get married. 

As the article states:

“There are certainly reasons why a couple may not wish to marry,” added Camilla Taylor, marriage project director at Lambda Legal. “People with certain immigration statuses might want to think very carefully before getting married. There are some types of visas that are meant to be temporary, and if you get married to someone who is a citizen, it could flag your renewal application and reflect your more permanent decision to stay.”

When it comes to adopting a child, couples may run into trouble if they are trying to adopt from a place that restricts same-sex married couples from adopting. Having one parent adopt while still single may be easier. “If you want to be able to answer honestly in paperwork, multiple interviews and background checks, then you won’t want to get married,” Ms. Taylor said, adding that many foreign countries ban adoptions to same-sex couples.

Marrying could also have serious implications for couples who relocate to a nonmarriage state, and ultimately decide to split up. Getting a divorce can be complicated, since one member of a couple may have to return to the gay marriage state and live there before their split can be completed.

There also certainly employment law implications of gay marriage with respect to pension and health insurance benefits as well as FMLA leave benefits. Don't get me wrong, I believe that anyone should be able to get married; but this is an interesting article non-the-less.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

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