Feds to expand legal benefits, services for same-sex marriages - CNN.com
Another victory for equal rights and equality!Feds to expand legal benefits, services for same-sex marriages
(CNN) -- In a major milestone for gay rights, the United States government plans to expand recognition of same-sex marriages in federal legal matters, including bankruptcies, prison visits and survivor benefits.Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department will issue a memo Monday that recognizes same-sex marriages "to the greatest extent possible under the law." The federal expansion will include 34 states where same-sex marriage isn't legal, but the new federal benefits being extended to those states will apply only where the U.S. government has jurisdiction, Holder said. For example, a same-sex couple legally married in Massachusetts can now have their federal bankruptcy proceeding recognized in Alabama, even though it doesn't allow same-sex marriages.
"This means that, in every courthouse, in every proceeding, and in every place where a member of the Department of Justice stands on behalf of the United States -- they will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same privileges, protections and rights as opposite-sex marriages under federal law," Holder said of his initiative. Under the new policy, the Justice Department will recognize that same-sex spouses of individuals involved in civil and criminal cases should have the same legal rights as all other married couples -- including the right to decline to give testimony that might incriminate their spouses. Also, the government won't contest same-sex married couples their rights in states where previously prosecutors could argue that the marriage is not recognized in the state where the couple lives, Holder said.. In the past, the U.S. government could challenge the couple's joint bankruptcy because Alabama doesn't recognize same-sex marriage.
WHile it was already clarified before that same sex marriages in states that dont have equal rights already have the FED factually recognizing them and they are legal this is an expansion. THis was also true regardless of whether that state was granting equality or not.
Now they are clarifying even further and expanding even further making everything as equal as possible, federally.
This is just another stepping stone in the road to national equal rights!
back up links:
Same-Sex Spouses Get New Federal Rights, Holder Says - WSJ.com
Justice Department to give married same-sex couples sweeping equal protection - The Washington Post
Federal Government Expands Legal Rights to Same-Sex Marriages | FOX17online.com
Federal government to expand recognition of same-sex marriage - latimes.com