HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) - Same-sex couples are celebrating two major Supreme Court rulings.
First, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. This ruling now allows same-sex married couples all the rights as heterosexual married couples.
Holyoke's Mayor Alex Morse , spoke to 22news about the impact of this milestone.
"The point to note is that even though marriage has been legal in Massachusetts for years, gay couples married here in the state still weren't eligible for the more than 1,100 rights that heterosexual married couples were eligible for," Morse said.
Some of those 1,100 rights the same sex couples will now have include hospital visitation rights for their spouse in all 50 states and filing Federal taxes as a couple.
Sean Hinkley from Holyoke was especially happy about the hospital visitation rights.
"I think is you love someone you should be able to go and visit them, it doesn't matter if your male or female," Hinkley said.
Nelson Ramon works to raise money and awareness for the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender (LGBT)community. He told 22News he is proud he lives in a state where gay marriage is legal, but that this was another needed victory in a long battle for equal rights for same-sex couples.
"Now I can get married, and I have those same equal protections. I can be in a same sex relationship and have all the same headaches and drama and fun stuff that our counter parts do and I'm excited for that!"
The second Supreme Court decision ruled California's gay marriage ban, called Proposition 8 unconstitutional. That means same sex marriages will likely resume in California in about a month.
One local tax expert told 22News he is concerned the Defense of Marriage Act ruling could complicate the tax system and open the door to more fraud. But he is hoping the ruling will come with more Federal regulations to the tax system to help accommodate our modern society.