Earlier this year, the California Supreme Court ruled that excluding same-sex couples from marriage was unconstitutional. California now joins Massachusetts in recognizing same-sex marriages. (That said, a proposed state constitutional amendment overriding the court’s decision has been incorporated into the 2008 California general election ballot.) Despite this ruling, however, for federal tax purposes, marriage continues to remain defined as a union between a man and a woman. Therefore, a same-sex spouse does not qualify as a “spouse,” under federal tax rules. While an employer can certainly provide health coverage to same-sex spouses, the coverage is taxable unless the same-sex spouse otherwise qualifies as the employee’s dependent. This ruling serves as a good reminder to review the eligibility provisions of your health plan, including the definition of “spouse,” to ensure you are providing coverage to those employees and dependents you intend to cover and excluding all others.