Eric Holder spoke to the Human Rights Campaign last week and announced that the Department of Justice was instructing all of its offices around the nation to treat all legally-performed same-sex marriages the same as an opposite-sex marriage regardless of where the couple actually lives. Howard Friedman explains what that will mean:
This means that same-sex spouses will be able to refuse to testify against their spouses in federal court proceedings, even in states that do not recognize same-sex marriages. Same-sex marriages will be treated the same as heterosexual marriages in bankruptcy proceedings, allowing same-sex couples to file jointly for bankruptcy and making alimony owed to a former same-sex spouse generally non-dischargeable. Federal inmates in same-sex marriages will have the same spousal visitation, furlough, correspondence and compassionate release rights as opposite-sex spouses. Same -sex spouses will be recognized in various benefit programs administered by the Department of Justice– the Radiation Exposure Compensation Program; the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund; and the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program.
Cue the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the Christian right: Tyranny! Socialism! The Kenyan Muslim atheist has done it again!