American University students Sharon Burk, left, and Mollie Wagoner embrace after hearing that the Supreme Court struck down a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that has prevented gay couples from receiving a range of benefits. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Wednesday’s decision by the Supreme Court ruling Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional (read our extensive coverage on the two same-sex marriage decisions) has wide-ranging implications. Now that the Court has struct down the definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman,” possibly one of the the biggest changes is that gay couples married in states that currently allow same-sex marriages will now be granted federal benefits — the same benefits granted to married heterosexual couples.
But what does that mean in plain English? Well, currently the federal government classifies more than 1,000 statutory provisions that uses marriage as a factor. Here’s a look at some of those benefits that will now be available for legally-married same-sex couples, including some biggies like Social Security and some lesser-known ones, such as immunity from testifying against your spouse.
The list of all now-available marriage benefits is here.