The Supreme Court issued its decision in United States v. Windsor (June 26, 2013) holding that the federal Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (DOMA) is unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause. Pursuant to DOMA, a same-sex partner is excluded from the definition of “spouse” under federal law, even if same-sex spouses were recognized under state law. DOMA further provided that states did not have to recognize a same-sex marriage legally recognized by another state. The Supreme Court’s recent ruling will impact employee benefits plans, including how the plans define the term “spouse,” which will now be dictated by applicable state law.