Washington, Jun 26: The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that legally married same-sex couples should get the same U.S. benefits as heterosexual couples.
The court invalidated a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that has prevented married gay couples from receiving a range of tax, health and retirement benefits that are generally available to married people. The vote was 5-4.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion.
Same-sex marriage has been adopted by 12 states and the Washington district.
Another 18,000 couples were married in California during a brief period when same-sex unions were legal there.
The court has yet to release its decision on California's ban on same-sex marriage.