[LOS ANGELES] 2.9.2014. Federal descrimination against married same sex couples will no longer be the law of the land on 2.10.2014 when Eric Holder, the nation’s first African American United States Attorney General, will issue a policy memoramdum to the Justice Department barring such activity. Mr. Holder said in New York on 2.8.2014 that he will do so because of the United States Supreme Court’s landmark decision of 2013 which declared DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) unconstitutional and because of his personal “commitment to confronting discrimination based on sexual orientation.”
The Attorney General’s action will officially put an end to federally sanctioned descrimation against same sex couples who are legally married in states like California or elsewhere where same-sex marriage laws exist. He said “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 spouse. The government will not object to an individual in a same-sex marriage invoking this right on the ground that the marriage is not recognized in the state where the couple lives.”
“Federal inmates in same-sex marriages will also be entitled to the same rights and privileges as inmates in opposite-sex marriages. This includes visitation by a spouse, inmate furloughs to be present 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 the incapacitation of an inmate’s spouse.”
“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” the Attorney General pledged.
These significant and historic changes by the Justice Department will not affect state laws directly. However it will allow same sex married couples to equally participate, as heterosexual married couples already do, in federal benefits programs like the Radiation Exposure Compensation Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. And to do so it will not matter what state the couple resides in.
The Attorney General equated the civil rights struggles of African-Americans of the 1960s to that of today’s LGBT community. In his unprecedented remarks Mr Holder said “just like during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the stakes involved in this generation’s struggle for LGBT equality could not be higher…all-important as the fight against racial discrimination was then, and remains today, know this: my commitment to confronting discrimination based on sexual orientation runs just as deep.”
Mitch for OccupyLosAngelesNews.org