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?
‘Pothole blitz’ badly needed service coming in West Virginia
Hopefully, the heavy snow and extremely cold weather of January, February and early March are in the past.
Remnants of the harsh winter, though, remain. They’re faced each day by the state’s drivers.
Potholes have West Virginia’s roads in their worst condition in years, and the damaging freeze-thaw cycle is not over.
‘The issues are complicated’ with e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes have been around for about seven years.
But you’d be shocked at how long the idea for the the tobacco-less product has been around.
“A primitive, battery-operated ‘smokeless non-tobacco cigarette’ was patented as early as 1963 and described in Popular Mechanics in 1965,” Megan McArdle wrote for Business Week last monty.
Coal industry can’t afford to give this administration and EPA more ammunition
Coal already has a bad name in Washington, D.C.
The whole industry got another black eye this week when Alpha Natural Resources Inc., one of the country’s largest coal producers, agreed to pay a $27.5 million fine and invest $200 million to reduce illegal water pollution in five states, including West Virginia.
Being observant, reporting suspicions can make difference for hurting children
If a child is hurting, we wouldn’t hesitate to help.
Or would we?
In a five-year span, 22,830 children were victims of some type of neglect or abuse in West Virginia. That’s an overwhelming number to think about.
Gee makes major impact and earns another term as WVU president
Let’s imagine that a graduate from West Virginia University in the early 1980s, when E. Gordon Gee was president, came back to get an extra degree now and couldn’t believe that E. Gordon Gee is “still” the president of WVU.
Effort to encourage purchase of goods produced in U.S. deserves support
The concept of encouraging the purchase of American-made products is certainly not new.
On the federal level, the Buy American Act was passed in 1933 by Congress and signed by President Herbert Hoover. It required the United States government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases.
‘Stop Meth, Not Meds’ backed by readers
In West Virginia, there is something referred to as “stop-sale technology” that prevents a person from going to more than one pharmacy to purchase over-the-counter medication that contains the active ingredient pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant.
It’s not an issue of stuffy noses that lawmakers were worried about when they created the system.
Even small steps play part in critical mission to reduce childhood obesity
Just two years ago, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, meaning they had excess body weight based on their height.
It’s a troubling statistic, and one that health officials have worked diligently to reverse.
Cutting-edge heart procedure at Mon General is saving lives
“I used to think I wouldn’t live to be 50. Well, I made it to 50 and then some,” Pearl Walls said.
Walls is likely alive today and able to tell her story to the Times West Virginian because of a cutting-edge procedure performed at Monongalia General Hospital — a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), which was only approved for use by the FDA in 2011.
Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ many works, magic words
You know his words.
You know them well.
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