5. My husband and I can file our taxes jointly.
6. I can receive income from the family business, even if the family member with the business is my husband.
7. I can inherit my husband's estate without paying any more taxes on it then an opposite-sex couple would.
8. I can have access to the same types of estate trusts that heterosexual couples already have access too.
9. I can be a legal adoptive stepparent or foster parent.
10. I can divorce and legally request my share of the joint assets, get child visitation, child support and joint custody of our children.
11. It will be just as easy for us to appoint each other conservator if we become disabled as it already is for straight couples.
12. I can receive public assistance benefits.
13. I can receive Social Security, Medicare and disability as his spouse.
14. As the husband of a career military man, I can receive spousal military benefits such as education, medical care or special loans.
15. Gay marriage gives me the right to care for my husband during an illness in accordance with FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act).
16. Without spending thousands of dollars on lawyers, I can receive wages, workers' compensation and retirement plan benefits for a deceased spouse.
17. I qualify for bereavement leave if one of my husband's close relatives dies.
18. I don't have worry that my husband's family will override my husband's and my wishes regarding after-death examinations or procedures for burial or cremation.
19. We can live in neighborhoods that are restricted to "families only."
20. If my husband dies or leaves me, I can automatically renew the lease in my name.
21. As a married couple we get family rates for health, homeowner's, auto and other insurances.
22. If my husband works at a college, then I'd qualify for tuition discounts and permission to use school facilities.
23. We will qualify for consumer discounts and incentives offered only to married couples or families.
24. I can sue a third person for wrongful death of my spouse and "loss of consortium" (loss of intimacy).
25. Gay marriage lets us claim marital communications privilege, meaning a court can't force us to disclose the contents of confidential communications during your marriage.
26. If I marry a man from another country, I can bring him here and he can become a citizen.
27. I can visit my husband in jail.
The United States does a lot to facilitate marriage and families. Shouldn't all families have that support?
What is your experience with the benefits of marriage? Were you aware of all of these benefits? Please share your experience below. I'll do my best to respond in a timely manner.
Larry Cappel is a trained relationship coach specializing in same-sex relationships and a licensed marriage and family therapist. He can be reached through his website if you'd like to talk about any aspect of your relationship.