A small tax exemption case that recently played out in an Alaska superior court could have big implications in the debate over same-sex marriage.

Last month, the court ruled the state’s tax-assessment rules were unconstitutional because they did not allow same-sex couples access to a property tax exemption for senior citizens and disabled veterans.

Julie Schmidt and her partner Gayle Schuh, one of the couples in the case, owned a home together with an assessed value of $254,200. Forbes contributor Peter J. Reilly writes, “If they were married they would have been entitled to a $150,000 property tax exemption because Ms. Schmidt is over 65. Since they were not married, the exclusion is limited to $127,100 (half the assessed value).”

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