Justice Dept. applies same-sex rights to itself

Spouses will be able to decline testimony that could violate marital privilege, and federal prisoners will be entitled to spousal visitation
Associated Press
Feb 8, 2014

In an assertion of same-sex marriage rights, Attorney General Eric Holder is applying a landmark Supreme Court ruling to the Justice Department, announcing Saturday that same-sex spouses cannot be compelled to testify against each other, should be eligible to file for bankruptcy jointly and are entitled to the same rights and privileges as federal prison inmates in opposite-sex marriages.

The Justice Department runs a number of benefits programs, and Holder says same-sex couples will qualify for them. They include the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and benefits to surviving spouses of public safety officers who suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries in the line of duty.

"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 in prepared remarks to the Human Rights Campaign in New York. The advocacy group works on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equal rights.

Just as in the civil rights struggles of the 1960s, the stakes in the current generation over same-sex marriage rights "could not be higher," said Holder.

"The Justice Department's role in confronting discrimination must be as aggressive today as it was in Robert Kennedy's time," Holder said of the attorney general who played a leadership role in advancing civil rights.

On Monday, the Justice Department will issue a policy memo to its employees instructing them to give lawful same-sex marriages full and equal recognition, to the greatest extent possible under the law.

Holder's address is the latest application of a Supreme Court ruling that struck down a provision in the Defense of Marriage Act defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The decision applies to legally married same-sex couples seeking federal benefits.

After the Supreme Court decision last June, the Treasury Department and the IRS said that all legally married gay couples may file joint federal tax returns, even if they reside in states that do not recognize same-sex marriages. The Defense Department said it would grant military spousal benefits to same-sex couples. The Health and Human Services Department said the Defense of Marriage Act is no longer a bar to states recognizing same-sex marriages under state Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Programs. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management said it is now able to extend benefits to legally married same-sex spouses of federal employees and annuitants.

Holder told his audience:

—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 violate the marital privilege. Under this policy, even in states where same-sex marriages are not recognized, the federal government will not use state views as a basis to object to someone in a same-sex marriage from invoking this right.

—The U.S. Trustee Program will take the position that same-sex married couples should be eligible to file for bankruptcy jointly and that domestic support obligations should include debts such as alimony owed to a former same-sex spouse.

— Federal prisoners in same-sex marriages will be entitled to visitation by a spouse, inmate furloughs during a crisis involving a spouse, escorted trips to attend a spouse's funeral, correspondence with a spouse and compassionate release or reduction in sentence based on an inmate's spouse being incapacitated.

Comments

Ned Mandingo

Why does Eric Holder always look like he sat on something sharp.

thinkagain

There is no parallel between race/skin color, which is fixed, and the choice to be homosexual, which is not fixed.

Jmschmidt812

Your comments show your ignorance. You have absolutely no proof that homosexuality is a choice. You base your statements off a book written thousands of years ago. It has no relevance to this article whatsoever. You can continue to say homosexuality is a choice till you're blue in the face, but it still doesn't mean you're right.

Huron_1969

Our society has proven rights for homosexuals is an issue that needs to be addressed. I may not agree with it, but enough people have come forth to make it a matter that needs to be addressed. Unfortunately, the media and politicians involved have alterier motives, namely selling news stories and getting votes. Holder is just following marching orders as the 2014 elections come nearer.

Bottom line is we're steering a ship without a compass and someday it's gonna run a ground

thinkagain

Homosexuality is learned and can be unlearned, it simply is a choice. And no amount of ignorant hyperbole can change that fact.

Intelligence is multidimensional and you seem to lack common sense in all of them.

Don’t blame the messenger because you feel devalued, angry, frustrated, guilty or otherwise inadequate.

ladydye_5

I suppose you think you can "Pray away the gay"! too. With the way people like you and some of society treats gay...who would want to choose that lifestyle? Did you CHOOSE to be heterosexual? NO..when you say you choose to be homosexual, that would mean there is an other option. That would be hetero. So at what age did you make your choice?

thinkagain

Using something as it was designed is not a choice, it is natural. Male and female anatomy work together for procreation which is how we are all here.

You were born with organs meant for reproduction. Any other use is just unnatural lust pure and simple.

No research has found biological or genetic differences between heterosexuals and homosexuals.

At what age did you choose to be ignorant, sarcastic and hateful? Again, don’t blame the messenger because you feel devalued, angry, frustrated, guilty or otherwise inadequate.

44846GWP

Mouth breather.

mikeylikesit

i dont always see things like thinkagain does, nor do i hate anybody just because they are gay. however, it does seem a bit unnatural to me when i try to wrap my mind around the whole gay thing. i do not hate gay people, nor do i spend much time trying to make sense of something that does not affect me. if two people of either sex care for each other, who am i to question them?

ladydye_5

Who said I was devalued, angry, frustrated, guilty or inadequate? Those sound more like YOU. I will admit to being VERY sarcastic and sometimes very hateful. I do use my reproduction organs for other uses, most of them are now just unnatural and lustful, kinky and just pure unadulterated raw SEX! (I don't want to reproduce anymore, I have enough offspring) Awe hell, I use birth control too, so that is yet another SIN against God, go ahead and throw another bible quote at me as you like to do! I'm sure I just fell down another step or two towards the pits of hell!

Jmschmidt812

First off I've never let the words of another make me feel devalued, angry, frustrated, guilty or otherwise inadequate. As far as intelligence goes, I may not be on your level when it comes to book smarts. What I do have is intelligence when it comes to street survival. Something I'm sure you know nothing about. You talk about people as if they are below you and are inferior to you. You do that behind your computer screen because it hides your face and keeps you anonymous. Your rhetoric wouldn't be tolerated in any public forum. Well let me correct that, it might be tolerated in your pedophile harboring church. So before you act all high and mighty let me assure you that you aren't. Your words mean absolutely nothing to me and your opinion doesn't affect me one way or another. People deserve equal rights and shouldn't be denied by the likes of you or anyone else that keeps a closed mind of the issue. The laws are changing so you can either get on bored or get ran over, either way it'll go on without you.

mikeylikesit

after the holder/obozo wedding, these two criminals will not have to testify against each other if they are ever called out on their crimes, like they should be..

The Big Dog's back

What crimes? Show the exact laws they broke.

mikeylikesit

oh, just the usual raping of the constitution. other than that, where to begin? guns to mexico? benghazi? you will willingly ignore their crimes anyway..

deertracker

As usual, you have no answers. Just the usual noise spewing from you!

mikeylikesit

you will ignore them too, just like you ignored the two examples i gave. just the usual noise from you. the smell in the air around you is obozo's butt all over your face from all the kissing you give it. how do you ang big dog decide who's going to kiss it first?

Contango

Eric Holder, the most corrupt AG in U.S. history, uses a dartboard in order to decide which laws to uphold & which to ignore.

The above picture looks like he's adjusting his tuckus while passing gas.

mikeylikesit

he's trying to tighten it up after big dog and deertracker streched it out with all those tongue kisses..

thinkagain

Burn!!!

The Big Dog's back

pooh, your specific proof?

There you go again

I agree, it is difficult to get specific proof with Obama. Most records are sealed or dusted under the rug. Hmmm, what Benghazi scandal? Fast and Furious... What's that? Obama's tactic of changing the focus only fools the foolish!

Donegan

http://www.examiner.com/article/...
By circumventing congress he is choosing to ignore the law passed by congress. This is illegal for a president to do. Or we could site the AG defending the rights to kill citizens without trial, That makes him a murderer. Illegal enough for you?

The Big Dog's back

So you are citing a Examiner hit piece? Ahahahahahahaha!

Donegan

http://www.washingtontimes.com/n... That better? He is ignoring the laws passed by congress, That makes him in violation of the law. He ignored congress and has killed American citizens without a trial, So your taking a murderers word over non-murderers. How fitting for you.

The Big Dog's back

Are you serious? washington examiner? And remember, bush establish the "enemy combatant" thing. Remember Pat Tillman?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat...

Donegan

It is amazing you cannot even read the link i posted. No wonder you need someone to think for you, You obviously cannot do it for yourself. Hows it feel to support a murderer? It is people like you that are seriously dangerous.

Dr. Information

Rep are working on immigration. Obama uses yet another executive order to lighten the rules on people who have given terrorists out terrorist groups support so they can get into our country easier. The anti American anti Christ, that is Obama.

The Big Dog's back

So if Obama is anti-American and anti-Christ, what was Raygun?

"A Reagan Legacy: Amnesty For Illegal Immigrants"

Donegan

Reagan did not pander to supporters of terrorism, Unlike this president. http://washington.cbslocal.com/2...

The Big Dog's back

You're right, he didn't pander to "supporters" of terrorism, he went whole hog and supported terrorists direct. Iran-Contra, Taliban, Al Qaeda.

http://www.news24.com/World/News...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ira...

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