Winds of Change: What the Supreme Court’s Decision in Windsor Means for Employee Benefit Plans
Last summer, in U.S. v. Windsor, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (DOMA) as unconstitutional. Under Section 3 of DOMA, only a husband or wife of the opposite sex was treated as a “spouse” for federal law purposes. As a result of DOMA, same-sex couples married under state law were not afforded the over 1,000 federal rights extended to, or subject to the various obligations imposed on, opposite-sex couples. This article discusses the various practical implications of the Court’s ruling in Windsor for employee benefit plans.