Supreme Court to Hear Same-Sex Marriage Cases

Today (January 16, 2015) the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to four cases appealed from the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on the issue of same-sex marriage.  The Court’s decision to hear the cases addresses the recent split between the federal circuits on the issue.  At issue are the following: (1) whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to license marriage between two people of the same sex, and (2) whether states must recognize marriages between same-sex couples performed in other states. 

When is a “religious” organization religious enough for unemployment insurance tax exemption?

Is your religious organization liable for unemployment insurance tax?  Certain religious nonprofits are indeed exempt from state unemployment insurance tax.  It is important, however, that such nonprofits understand their specific state requirements for exemption, which may be very different from IRS exemption..  Depending on your state’s requirements, even being determined to be a “church” by the IRS may not be enough for state unemployment exemption.

Intro: Exemption for religious groups?

Sixth Circuit Bucks Trend, Refuses to Overturn State Same-Sex Marriage Laws

Against the recent trend in federal circuit courts, the Sixth Circuit has refused to hold state laws supporting the traditional definition of marriage unconstitutional, largely on states’ rights, non-religious grounds.  Last month, in a 2-1 decision, the Sixth Circuit reversed decisions of four district courts that struck down such state laws.  See DeBoer v. Snyder, No. 14-1341, 2014 WL 5748990 (6th Cir. Nov.