The Rights of Married Same-sex Couples

Same-sex marriage is still a hot issue or topic for debates even these days. LGBTQ members have achieved significant recognition globally in recent years. Yet, only a few nations recognize same-sex unions. Homosexuality is still illegal in some countries, and same-sex relations might have punishments.   Although LGBTQ rights are more recognized globally, its members continue to suffer discrimination. Discrimination typically happens in communities that value conventional family structures.

Countries that give legal rights to LGBT couples

Here’s a list of countries that recently changed their laws for the LGBT community.

  1. Thailand (2020)

The Thai government adopted the draft Civil Partnership Bill in July. The law does not classify same-sex unions as “marriages.” However, it does allow them to be legally registered. Gay couples will also receive privileges. They can adopt children and own property together. But, they will not qualify for specific tax incentives.

  1. Northern Ireland (2019)

In Northern Ireland, same-sex marriage became legal in October 2019. However, the first homosexual marriage did not take place until February 2020. It’s because the shift was a bit technical due to the suspended devolved parliament of Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland legalized gay marriage after England, Scotland, and Wales.

  1. Costa Rica

In 2016, Costa Rica asked the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to interpret the rights to privacy of LGBTQ under the law. Costa Rica became the first Central American country to recognize homosexual marriage. A ban was declared unlawful by the country’s highest court in 2018.

  1. Ecuador (2019)

Ecuador became the fifth Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage in June 2019. It is then followed by Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, and Brazil. Since 2015, Ecuador has acknowledged more restricted “same-sex unions.” And this judgment granted full marriage rights to gay couples.

  1. Austria (2019)

In January 2019, Austria extended full marriage rights to gay couples. This change replaced the earlier “registered partnership” arrangements. Austria thus became a member of the vast majority of Western European countries. The move was pushed forward by the country’s constitutional court, which voted in favor of the reform in 2017. And because of this, claims that more limited civil partnerships were discriminating emerged. Austria’s ruling parties have resolved not to oppose the measure.

Legal rights granted to same-sex couples

same-sex marriage

Employment benefits.

Like male-female marriages, same-sex couples can now benefit from their spouses’ medical policies. They can enjoy the benefit of being included if one spouse has insurance coverage as a job benefit. Various pension fund programs like 401(k)s, are now available to same-sex couples.


When it comes to property, married same-sex couples now have the same or similar legal rights as heterosexual couples. In case of divorce, legal separation, or death, these property rights protect the spouses. But of course, they still need to consult a probate attorney.   Moreover, married same-sex couples can now own property together. They can also enjoy various marriage-related property benefits like marital estate planning services.

Tax Benefits.

Heterosexual married couples have federal tax and state benefits. Luckily, same-sex couples now receive the same benefits. They can now submit their income tax returns together rather than separately. If one of the spouses dies, the surviving spouses can avoid both state and federal estate taxes.   The Family Medical Leave Act now covers same-sex married couples. They can now take time off from work to care for a sick spouse. These couples are also covered by maternity and paternity leave regulations and benefits. Also, same-sex married couples can see their spouses in the hospital without fear of legal repercussions.


One of the disadvantages of old marriage laws, same-sex married couples cannot file for divorce in their state. Now, in each state, divorce laws apply to the opposite sex and same-sex married couples.

Child Custody and Adoption.

There is still a lack of legal protection for same-sex parents raising or adopting a child. In many places, for example, same-sex married couples are not presumed to be parents. The traditional concept still assumes that only a man and a woman can care for children as legal parents.   The legal rights of same-sex couples have recently changed. And they are still subjected to further changes. Consult a family lawyer in your area if you need legal help or have any queries about same-sex marriages. Your lawyer can give you sound legal advice and represent you in court if you are involved in a legal dispute.

Because of continuous development, people are becoming more accepting and open-minded. Thankfully, even the governments are making ways to give everyone equal rights to their citizens.

Yet, having rights does not mean that you have the full authority to bypass laws. LGBTQ or not, we all need to follow the law and be respectful to everyone. Yes, even to those who have different views and gender preferences.