Editor's Note: This Essay is the second in a four-part series on United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court decision that struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last summer.
From a distance, the moon appears bright, shiny, and attractive. It is revered and romanticized. Lives (and deaths) are planned around its phases and cycles. But, upon closer inspection, this attractive object is actually scarred—pocked with craters left by past violent impacts. For same-sex couples, federal tax equality shares a strikingly similar duality.