New DOJ guidelines call for equal recognition of same-sex married couples
Posted Feb 10, 2014 1:30 PM CST
By Martha Neil
New guidelines that are to be issued Monday by the Department of Justice call for same-sex couples who are legally married to be treated, as much as possible, the same as opposite-sex married couples.
Binding on federal employees, including those who run the courts, the new policy will “formally instruct all Justice Department employees to give lawful same-sex marriages full and equal recognition, to the greatest extent possible under the law," said Attorney General Eric Holder in public remarks on Saturday in New York City. It is expected to expand rights for same-sex married couples in areas including bankruptcy filings, hospital and prison visits and survivor benefits.
Even in states that don't recognize same-sex marriage, the policy is expected to expand benefits, but only where federal jurisdiction applies.