US Treasury Will Recognize ALL Legal Unions

Capturing Love 1138 Federal RightsTwo thousand thirteen has been a very big year for marriage equality. A very big year, indeed!

While still basking in the afterglow of the recent news of Supreme Court victories for California (where marriage equality was restored) and at the federal level (where section 3 of DOMA was found unconstitutional), the LGBTQ community received news today of one more milestone to celebrate.

Today, the Treasury Department announced that all same-sex couples who are legally married will have access to all federal tax programs, including income tax, gift and estate taxes, deductions, exemptions, retirement accounts, and child tax credit. 

And, yes, that includes any same-sex couple (like me and my partner) who resides in a state that does not recognize marriage equality. As long as a couple receives a marriage license from a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage, they will have access to federal tax programs as a married couple.

"Today’s ruling provides certainty and clear, coherent tax filing guidance for all legally married same-sex couples nationwide," said Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew. "It provides access to benefits, responsibilities and protections under federal tax law that all Americans deserve. This ruling also assures legally married same-sex couples that they can move freely throughout the country knowing that their federal filing status will not change."

This is big. Very big. Big enough that it means that, after twenty years together, and almost fifteen years since our wedding, my partner and I will celebrate by getting married all over again.

But first things first. I need to let my family know that this day we've waited for has finally arrived, and then update my Facebook relationship status (of course!) to 'engaged.'

Wedding innovator Kathryn Hamm (@madebykathryn) is co-author of The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian & Gay Wedding Photography (Amphoto Books, 2014), an Education Expert for WeddingWire and Publisher of GayWeddings.com