A 30-Second Guide to How the Gay Marriage Ruling Affects You

In light of the recent ruling, we have updated the following guide, originally published in June 2013:

In case you missed it, or just saw people screaming about it on Facebook, the U.S. Supreme Court just made the final decision legalizing gay marriage nationwide. Every time a ruling like this comes down, millions of people, most of whom are neither gay nor looking to get same-sex married, loudly ask how exactly it impacts their life ...

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... so for them we provided a handy guide:

If You Are a Homosexual and Are Already Married:

If you had been lucky enough to live in a state that allowed gay marriage, the federal government already recognized your marriage as a thing, and you were eligible for tax, health, and pension benefits under federal law like any other married couple. Previously, if you had moved to another state that didn't recognize gay marriage, that state didn't have to recognize your marriage. Now, your marriage is recognized everywhere, the same as anyone else's.

If You Are a Homosexual and Want to Get Married:

Where before this came down to whether or not your state had legalized it, now you are free to do so regardless of which state you live in.

If You Are a Heterosexual and Do NOT Want to Enter into a Homosexual Marriage:

You will not be required to marry a gay person. This is a common misunderstanding. This decision actually does not affect you in any way.

If You Are Currently in a Heterosexual Marriage:

This decision does not affect you in any way.

If You Are a Heterosexual Who Is Not Currently Married:

This decision does not affect you in any way.

If You Are a Heterosexual Who Hopes to Eventually Marry:

This decision does not affect you in any way.

If You Are a Member of a Church That Performs Wedding Ceremonies but That Does Not Believe in Gay Marriage:

This decision does not affect you in any way.

If You Are a Religious Official Who Performs Wedding Ceremonies but Who Thinks Gay Marriage Is Wrong:

This decision does not affect you in any way.

If You Are an Individual Who Believes Gay Marriage or Homosexuality in General Is Wrong for Religious Reasons, and Wish to Continue Expressing Those Beliefs:

This decision does not affect you in any way.

If You Are an Individual Who Believes Gay Marriage or Homosexuality in General Is Wrong for Non-Religious Reasons, and Wish to Continue Expressing Those Beliefs:

This decision does not affect you in any way.

If You Are a Heterosexual Who Fears This Decision Adversely Affects Your Marriage or the Concept of Marriage in General:

This decision does not affect you in any way.

If You Are a Heterosexual Who Fears This Decision Negatively Affects You in Some Way:

This decision does not affect you in any way.

If You Are a Heterosexual Who Suffers Anger or Anxiety at the Thought of Gay Couples Getting Married as an Abstract Concept, and Believes the Only Cure Is to Legally Prevent Gay Marriage:

This decision will cause you some degree of anger or anxiety. Otherwise, this decision does not affect you in any way.

Hope this helps!

David Wong is the Executive Editor of Cracked.com and a New York Times bestselling author, pre-order his new novel here! For more from Dave, read 6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You A Better Person

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