'What legalizing gay marriage means for our money'

Should the Supreme Court strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as solely between a man and a woman, same-sex couples will see big changes to their finances -- for better and for worse.

Joshua Casto and John Rogers

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  • Hometown: Denver, Colo.

Because same-sex marriage isn't legal in their state, Josh and his partner of five years, John, would likely be unaffected if DOMA were struck down.

That came as a surprise to Josh, who assumed that if gay marriage was recognized by the federal government, other legal unions would also automatically be recognized.

The couple is currently in the process of filing a designated beneficiary agreement, which gives them limited rights -- like death benefits from state programs and hospital visitation rights -- and is the closest thing to gay marriage in their state.

But unless the Supreme Court strikes down DOMA and issues a much broader rule, same-sex couples will likely remain without marriage benefits unless they're married at a state level. Currently, gay marriage is legal in nine states and Washington, D.C., while nine other states grant civil unions or domestic partnerships and another five states have limited relationship recognition laws, including Colorado.

"It's confusing and it's frustrating," said Josh. "We've made quite a bit of progress, but we continue to see this isn't going to be a one- or two-year deal, and unfortunately, it does have a financial impact on us."

If the couple were married and DOMA were overturned, Josh estimates they would be able to save around $650 in income tax per year, and he could piggyback onto John's insurance plan without paying tax, saving him nearly $200 a month.

  @blakeellis3 - Last updated December 11 2012 06:01 AM ET

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