Ever since the Supreme Court's June decision overturning Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the full extension of benefits to same-sex couples — such as health and retirement plans — has been embroiled in the legal distinction between a "state of marriage" and "state of celebration."

Until yesterday, there were just 13 states that officially recognized and allowed same-sex unions; now there are 14 as New Jersey joined the fold on Monday.

New Jersey is now officially a "state of marriage" for same-sex couples, who will be eligible for full benefits under state and federal law.

The other 36 states can recognize same-sex couples as eligible for full benefits if they use the standard of "state of celebration," but the Department of Defense (DOL), for instance, was careful in its recent guidance on retirement plan administration not to force states to recognize the standard.