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Labor Dept. Issues New Rules for Same-Sex Marriages, Benefits

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The Advocate
|
September 19, 2013
Issues: 

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced new guidelines for businesses and gay employees, following the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, in which it ruled section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

The terms “spouse” and “marriage” in Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and in related department regulations should be read to include “same-sex couples legally married in any state or foreign jurisdiction that recognizes such marriages, regardless of where they currently live,” according to the Labor Department. The terms "spouse" and "marriage," however, do not include individuals in a formal relationship recognized by a state that is not considered a marriage under state law, such as a domestic partnership or a civil union.