Gay married couples in Georgia will benefit from DOMA ruling - CBS46 News

Gay married couples in Georgia will benefit from DOMA ruling

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Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling striking down the core of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) clears the way for married same-sex couples who live in Georgia to receive federal rights and benefits of marriage, according to Greg Nevins of Lambda Legal.

"I think it's a great day; not just for the LGBT community, but all of us," said Nevins who is the staff attorney for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender legal advocacy group.

Nevins said those same couples will still be denied state rights and benefits because of Georgia's constitutional amendment, passed in 2004, that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. 

To receive those federal benefits, gay couples in Georgia can get married in one of the 12 states or the District of Columbia, which allows same-sex marriage. Nevins said those rights and benefits include Social Security survivor benefits, tax breaks, among others.

"If your spouse perishes and you have access to Social Security benefits, that you're going to use to raise the children, that's a huge benefit that's now something that can be accessed that wasn't before," said Nevins.

The DOMA ruling will not have any immediate impact on same-sex marriage bans in states like Georgia.  But legal experts told CBS Atlanta News, they believe it is only a matter of time until all states allow gay couples to marry. 

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