While marriage is perceived as a time-honored commitment to a relationship, not all forms of the relationships between couples have managed to obtain such acceptance. As time has passed, however, different forms of marriage, such as that between a same-sex couple, and even domestic partnerships have begun to crave recognition by society and law. Questions such as whether gay marriages are legal and whether the couple can receive post-marital benefits have always been a source of debate in the realm of family law.
Different states in the U.S. have had differing stances with respect to the legality of such marriages and even in those states where they are deemed legal, the governing laws relating to dissolution of such marriages, etc., often vary from each other. In the past few years, U.S. courts and legislators have increasingly shown a trend of recognizing such marriages as valid.
Minnesota has granted such validity about six months ago and since then, almost 3,000 gay couples have gotten married in the state. Considerable efforts are also being made to raise awareness about the legal rights and obligations of gay married couples and the results appear to be quite promising. Considering that this was a state over which the opponents of such marriages used to hold sway some time back, this change is both a mammoth and progressive one.
The success of Minnesota can go a long way in breaking down the obstacles posed by other states against such marriages. Yet a change in law does not always beget a corresponding change in the societal mindset. Therefore, couples participating in such marriages would perhaps do well to pay careful attention to the activist campaign going on in the state and be clear about their respective legal rights and avail the help of able counsels if need be.
Source: saukvalley.com, “6 months of gay marriage has Minnesota confronting profound change,” Baird Helgeson, Mar. 06, 2014.