So, what’s next?
Often, when the U.S. Supreme Court makes a decision, there is no road map for how to implement a sweeping change.
Think Brown vs. the Board of Education. That ruling struck down segregation of schools. But none of the justices said how desegregation should work. They didn’t advise that states should do this or avoid that. It isn’t their job. The court simply looks at the constitution and determines whether a law is in violation of the law of the land.
So now, the federal government has to figure out how to establish federal benefits of marriage for same-sex couples within the 12 states that legally recognize the unions. And the president has ordered that the shift be taken care of “swiftly and smoothly.”
Tax adviser Tina Salandra, a CPA in New York City, told NPR that within days after the Supreme Court struck down key provisions in the Defense of Marriage Act, her gay and lesbian clients started to question what they should do next.
“Many of my clients have emailed me, and their question is: Should I file an amended return? Should we file an amended return?” Salandra told NPR. “And my answer to them is we need to really look at their tax situation and whether or not it will be beneficial.”
The dust isn’t settled yet. The IRS promises quick resolution, but you know how fast the federal wheels turn.
And while there are some federal benefits that will be offered to same-sex couples, it doesn’t mean that all benefits will be afforded.
“The decision means that same-sex married couples will have access to some federal benefits, but will not have access to the full range of marriage benefits due to state marriage bans,” Mark Daley told NBC News.
Why? Because so many federal rules rely on the state of residence. And since there are 38 states, like West Virginia, that don’t recognize same-sex unions, it might be an issue that gets more and more complicated.
It’s a complicated issue, but it’s also an emotionally charged issue, too. There are those who have celebrated he decision, and still others who have seen the DOMA decision as the federal government making rules on moral issues.
Where here is controversy, you know that we are there to ask out faithful readers their thoughts on the sauce. Last week on our online poll question, which can be found at www.timeswv.com, “What do you think about the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act?”
And here’s what our readers had to say.
• It doesn’t affect West Virginia really because gay marriage isn’t recognized here — 6.79 percent.
• It’s 2013 — it’s about time marriage equality was addressed — 13.58 percent.
• This is a moral issue and not for the federal government to decide — 79.63 percent.
We’ll see how it all shakes out. It certainly isn’t the end of the issue.
This week, let’s talk about another issue heading to be Supreme Court, whether governmental meeting sold open in prayer.
Log on. Vote. Email me or respond line.
So, what’s next?
Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated
Thankfully, we live in a community where help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just by dialing three numbers — 9-1-1.
During this week, which is recognized as National Public Safety Tele-Communicator’s Week nationwide, we need to remember that on the other end of that line are the men and women here in this county who are always there in case of accident, crimes, medical emergencies and any other catastrophic event.
Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives
A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.
State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary
Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.
Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better
When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.
COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable
That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!
Decision to be an organ donor can save lives
Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.
Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community
Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
Marion County is full of volunteers.
They read to our youth.
They assist nonprofit agencies.
They serve on boards and committees.
And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.
Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law
West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.
Strong Fairmont General Hospital badly needed to serve our region
Mere minutes often matter when it comes to emergency health care.
That’s why we need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.
When patients need the services of health-care professionals, having family and friends close at hand is often essential, and their presence may even lead to a better outcome.
COLUMN: Fairmont General Hospital vital part of community
There’s nothing better than holding a newborn baby. It gives you a little feeling that not only is everything right in the world, but this perfect little human represents hope of a future where things will be better than they are today.
I had that blessed opportunity to hold that hopeful future in my arms last week when I visited my dear friend Jen and her newborn son Tristan at Fairmont General Hospital.
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- Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated