Legal rights same for married gay, straight couples

Legal rights same for married gay, straight couples

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - First comes love, then comes marriage... then comes tax perks, health benefits, Social Security, and beginning on Monday - even a baby for married gay couples.

We sat down with our legal analyst to navigate the changes that will come with gay marriage.

As it stands today, an unmarried couple could not adopt a child together, but with a marriage license, that changes.

"They could not discriminate. They couldn't come in and say, 'we're going to deny or recommend the adoption be denied because these people are of a same-sex couple,' says attorney Mark McDaniel.

And then there's health insurance. McDaniel says once married, "Whatever insurance companies provided for traditional couples, traditional married couples, they must now provide for same sex couples. It's just as simple as that."

The same goes for medical decisions, filing taxes, even social security benefits.

While the benefits are numerous for married couples, it comes at a price. The State of Alabama is not immune to the law when it comes to State employees. They'll have to provide benefits to all spouses, which could potentially cost Alabama a lot of money.

Ultimately it's all subject to what the U.S. Supreme Court decides this Summer.

Read more about the marriage ban battle in Alabama.

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