Christel de Vries, a Dutch outsourcing manager for Accenture, sealed her love for her female partner twice, once in 2001 in Amsterdam under Dutch law and again in 2007 in a civil union in New Jersey. Yet under U.S. federal law, she isn’t married - and that is creating obstacles in her divorce. The 1996 so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" rejected federal recognition of marriages for same-sex couples in the United States and abroad and declared that no state need recognize a same-sex marriage in another state. The conflict between state and federal law - and between states - creates double worlds for gay couples in nearly every area of their financial lives.
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