It was announced today that the U.S. Supreme Court will consider two important questions relating to same-sex marriage–whether states are required to allowsame-sex marriages within their jurisdictions, and whether states are required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.  The decisions are expected to be issued in June of this year.

If the Court were to rule that states cannot prohibit same-sex marriage, there could be significant implications for some employee benefit plan sponsors.  For example, sponsors of insured health plans in states that currently ban same-sex marriage may be required to provide health coverage to same-sex spouses.  In addition, for sponsors of self-insured health plans that exclude same-sex spouses, there may be a heightened risk of liability under federal and state discrimination laws.

Stay tuned …