Connecticut Domestic Partner Benefits: What you need to know

The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that state laws excluding same-sex couples from marriage are unconstitutional, allowing same-sex couples to marry in Connecticut (Kerrigan et al. v. Cmsr. of Public Health et al., 289 Conn. 135 (2008)). The state's marriage law was subsequently amended to define marriage as a union of two persons (CT Gen. Stat. Sec. 46b-20).
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in June 2015 legalizing same-sex marriage in all states and requiring all states to recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other jurisdictions (Obergefell v. Hodges, No. 14-556 (6/26/15)).
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Civil unions. Prior to state legalization of same-sex marriage, civil unions were available to same-sex couples in Connecticut. Following state legalization of same-sex marriage, civil union couples were able to obtain a marriage license and have the civil union merged into the marriage as of the date the marriage certificate was recorded. Existing civil unions were merged into marriages by operation of law as of October 1, 2010 (CT Gen. Stat. Sec. 46b-38rr). Civil unions may no longer be established under state law.
Self-funded employee benefit plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) are subject to federal law. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage as only between a man and a woman (United States v. Windsor, 133 S.Ct. 2675 (2013)). The ruling requires equal treatment under federal law of spouses in legally recognized same-sex and opposite-sex marriages. Therefore, employee benefits regulated by federal law such as ERISA and federal income tax law generally must ...

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