With the New Year comes a new law that gives gay couples many of the same rights and responsibilities as married spouses.
Same-sex couples in California for the first time will have access to divorce court for dividing their assets, seeking alimony and securing child support. They also will have automatic parental status over children born during the relationship and responsibility for each other´s debts. It also guarantees domestic partners a say over what happens to their loved one´s remains at death. Still, many couples remain focused on the legal fruits the statute fails to secure. Domestic partners still won´t be able to receive Social Security survivorship benefits or to file joint income taxes because the federal government does not recognize same-sex relationships.