Updates on DOMA and the Government Shutdown

Recent events, the Supreme Court’s Decision on DOMA and the government shutdown, make me mindful of a quote, by a French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr.  Many of you may not know his name, but you do know this quote: the more things change, the more they stay the same.

As I have grown older my perspective has lengthened to accommodate my march through time. So what things have remained the same? The government shutdown is the result of recalcitrant members of congress, this is obviously nothing new. Next up, and partially the result of a recalcitrant congress, is the DOMA decision by the Supreme Court.

DOMA was passed and signed into law in May of 1996, just ahead of the November presidential election. Everyone was playing nice until after the election and then the gloves came off and the recalcitrance returned. President Clinton, who signed DOMA into law, along with key legislators, later advocated for DOMA’s repeal: the more things change, the more they stay the same.

A confluence of events, the advocacy for the repeal of DOMA and a case before the Supreme Court, United States v. Windsor, challenging DOMA, lead to our current state of affairs, which may aptly be described as chaos: the more things change, the more they stay the same. The Supreme Court’s decision held that a portion of DOMA was unconstitutional. It is this “piecemeal approach” which has created the chaos. The court’s decision has affected both individuals and businesses.

The Supreme Court has clearly given the states control as to who may be legally married within their jurisdictions. However, the federal government, and all of its affiliated agencies and departments, has decided who may be legally married for its purposes. Some of the agencies involved are: Department of Defense, Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service and the Social Security Administration.

Over the next several weeks I will be addressing the recent DOMA ruling and its application to these departments and agencies and their impact on individuals and businesses. This month’s live CPE / CE event is a presentation I created to present to the various Estate Planning Councils around the country.

I hope you will join me on this month’s CE/CPE Webcast: DOMA: A Sea Change for Financial Planning on Friday October 25, 2013 at 1:30PM EDT. The presentation is web based and virtual seating is limited. For more information or to register, please send an email to hello@ttillery.com.


Speak Your Mind