Sunday, July 13, 2008

Supreme Judicial Court Refuses to Permit Retroactive Same-Sex Marital Benefits

In No Pre-Marriage Benefits for Same-Sex Couples Massachusetts Law Updates blog has reported on the latest Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court case, Charron v. Amaral issued this past Thursday, in which the court put a very sensible limit on the reach of the Goodridge same-sex marriage case, in deciding that its prior constitutional holding in that case would not justify now ordering pre-marriage benefits (in this case, loss of consortium benefits in a medical malpractice case) to be applied retroactively for the benefit of a lesbian couple, for a cause of action that accrued before the couple was actually permitted to get married.

Although there were no dissents, it is interesting to see that Chief Justice Margaret Marshall, and two others, set out a different rationale in a separate concurrence, and thereby delineated some apparent differences on the court regarding the meaning of the Goodridge decision.

For information about Massachusetts divorce and family law, see the divorce and family law page of my law firm website.

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