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Marriage Evolution and Same Sex Legal Issues

When I was born, it wasn't legal everywhere for people of different races to marry. It wasn't until the landmark case Loving v. Virginia in 1967 that the Supreme Court struck down laws prohibiting marriage between people of different races.

Interracial marriage is now much more common and the majority of Americans accept it. However, marriage between people of the same gender is now the controversial marriage topic of the early 21st century.

As a family law attorney, I was very interested in the recent Supreme Court decision striking down California's Defense of Marriage Act. As explained in the New York Times article:

"The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that married same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits and, by declining to decide a case from California, effectively allowed same-sex marriages there."

Does this mean same-sex couples everywhere can go out and get married now, and have all the same benefits as opposite-sex couples? No. Many states still don't allow gay marriage, and many religious groups still oppose it also. The DOMA ruling, however, is an important step in paving the way for same-sex couples in all states to eventually be able to legally marry and share the same legal rights as their non-gay counterparts.

Despite the fact that Georgia still does not allow same-sex legal marriages, there are still ways that Hecht Family Law can assist same-sex couples. I explain some of those ways on my page Same Sex Family Issues. As a practical matter, gay couples who split and have children need custody and visiting arrangements, and have many of the same issues as straight couples who divorce.

Although same-sex relationship breakups can be messy, like singer Melissa Etheridge's recent split, many counties will not hear legal arguments regarding that type of "divorce." Fulton and DeKalb Counties will, however. I can assist with that.

If you or someone you know is facing a divorce, child support modification or child custody modification, an alimony issue, bringing or defending a contempt proceeding, or needs help with another family law matter, I can help. Contact me at Hecht Family Law at (678) 887-6200, email me at[email protected] and/or use the Contact Us form on the right side of this page.

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