Posted on 10 February 2012
By Mark Miller
This week’s federal appeals court decision throwing out California’s Proposition 8 adds considerable weight to the argument that the federal Defense of Marriage Act violates the U.S. Constitution.
While DOMA’s legal fate is far from sealed, this much is clear: the law results in differential treatment of same-sex married couples under federal law in hundreds of ways that impact their pocketbooks.
For the federal government, the end of DOMA wouldn’t simply mean more spending on benefits. Federal spending would rise in some areas, but fall in others. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that repeal actually would save the government about $1 billion a year, assuming legalization of same-sex marriage in all 50 states. For example, the government would spend more in areas like Social Security or federal employee health benefits, but spending on Medicaid — which is means-tested to include spousal income — likely would decline somewhat.
The economic security implications for same-sex couples are enormous. Via Reuters Money.