It’s no secret that same sex couples are not created equal. Not only with general discrimination that exists, but being allowed to legally wed (in most states), adding your significant other to your health care plan, or even buying a home together proves to be a challenge. With the new real estate laws and same sex couples, they may now have one up on this jaded system we call “constitutional.”
The Supreme Court has dismissed the existing law that identifies marriage as a joining of a man and a woman. This might be a small step to the general population, but it is huge to gay couples. And while it does not remove all of the other obstacles that they still face, it is a step in the right direction.
So what does this have to do with real estate? Well, the Supreme Court has recently ruled that a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unlawful. For gay and married couples, this means changes that will affect the mortgage interest tax deduction and VA Home loans.
Married gay couples, who until now have not been unable to claim this tax deduction, will now be able to file tax returns jointly. In the past, these couples living in states that allowed gay marriage would not allow couples to file joint tax returns. Since this ruling, DOMA must recognize same sex marriage just as a marriage between a man and a woman, and as such, they will now have the same rights when it comes to the mortgage interest tax deduction.
When it comes to VA loans there is still plenty of work to be done. Currently, a married gay veteran who would like to obtain a VA loan cannot include his/her partner as a spouse on the application. This is because the federal rules require the spouse to be of the opposite sex. While a joint loan is possible, if both are veterans, the VA only allows a portion of the loan to married gay applicants. What a way to treat those who service our country, wouldn’t you say?
While we as a country, are nowhere near treating gay couples equally when it comes to the laws and how they are applied to same sex couples and what we call “traditional marriage,” continued small strides and wins are definitely helping.
Perhaps one day we will all be treated equally. While that is too far down the road for any of us see, maybe one day it will happen. Until then, rulings such as this will help ensure that any gay couple who wishes to buy a home is not discriminated against because of their sexual preference.
Kimberly owns and operates a successful online transcription company, http://www.fingers4hiretranscription.com. Kimberly also manages a real estate office in Connecticut, specializing in private lending and property management, [http://www.fishmanlendinggroup.com]. Kimberly is passionate about helping others and spreading the word about news and events that are of interest to everyone.