Landmark Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage come with a catch in Texas

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by JASON WHEELER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwheelertv

wfaa.com

Posted on June 26, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 8 at 12:18 PM

DALLAS –– Steve Atkinson and Ted Kincaid have a paper trail. After all, they’ve been together more than 23 years. They’ve each been married more than a couple times to each other. 

They reel off their marriage history: “The first one was the civil union in Vermont in the fall of 2001.  After that we got married in Vancouver.  And soon after that it became legal in California and we got married there."

They say their matrimonial mobility was an attempt to eventually forge a union that would be legally recognized everywhere. “Like throwing spaghetti at the wall just hoping that something would stick, says Kincaid.

It appears their  exchange of vows in California will stick thanks to Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling that a state proposition there banning same sex marriage there as unconstitutional. 

But there’s still a sticking point for same sex couples living in Texas and 37 other states that don’t recognize same sex marriage.  In another Supreme Court decision, justices cleared the way for same sex married couples to be entitled to federal benefits afforded to heterosexual couples, but only if they live in one of the twelve states of the District of Columbia, where same sex marriages are recognized. 

Dallas finance expert Cathy Dewitt Dunn says as momentous as Wednesday’s high court decisions were, what wasn’t decided may be just as crucial, “Social Security for example; that based upon where you live.  How is that ruling going to go into play for you because you are living in Texas and you are not really recognized as being a same sex married couple yet in Texas?  There are a lot of issues hanging out there for Texans that are still unresolved.”

Still after multiple walks down the proverbial aisle, Atkinson and Kincaid are happy to be recognized at the federal level. 

“It is a huge step forward to be recognized federally because most of the benefits of marriage are on the federal level,” Dunn said. 

They believe momentum is finally with them instead of against them.

Email jwheeler@wfaa.com

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