Civil Liberties

After Court's Ruling, Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage Still Varies From Place to Place

Equality before the law is still a ways off


WASHINGTON — Consider two women living at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss., who travel to Maine to get married. When they get back to the base, the military will now recognize their marriage, affording them a variety of benefits that would go to any married couple, like health care and a housing allowance.

But once they exit Keesler's gates, they will find their marriage license means nothing to the state of Mississippi, where same-sex couples cannot adopt children and employers can fire someone who is gay.

What about the case of a gay couple who married in Des Moines but decide to move to Miami to spend their retirement away from the punishing Iowa winters? If one of them dies there, the other may not be able to collect the surviving spouse's Social Security benefits.