Far Enough? Department of Justice Announces New Gay Marriage Rights

Speaking at the Human Rights Campaign gala over the weekend, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the under Department of Justice, to the extent that it is able, those in same-sex marriages will receive “the same privileges, protections and rights as opposite-sex marriages under federal law.”

In a policy memo to be issued Monday, Justice Department employees will be instructed to “give lawful same-sex marriages full and equal recognition, to the greatest extent possible under the law.”

Under the new order, same-sex couples will now have the same rights as those in heterosexual marriages in regards to not testifying against their spouse in a civil or criminal trial—even in states where same sex marriages are not recognized. Further, same-sex couples will be able to file bankruptcy jointly and federal prisoners with same-sex spouses will be eligible for spousal visits.

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