Federal Government Expands Equal Rights to Same-Sex Marriage

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (February 9, 2014) – In a landmark win for gay rights, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the U.S. government will recognize same-sex marriages in federal legal matters, meaning, same-sex marriages will receive all of the benefits as traditional marriages, including rights in bankruptcies, prison visits, and survivor benefits, even in the 34 states that do not recognize same-sex marriage.

“Whether somebody believes that it’s a sin or not, it doesn’t matter; what matters is love, and what matters is what we’re teaching the children, and we’ve been doing it wrong for a long time,” says James Garnant of Grand Rapids, a stepfather.

In his speech at the Human Rights Campaign Gala in New York City late Saturday night, Holder said the U.S. Justice Department will never stop working to ensure that equality under the law is protected by the law. Holder called LGBT equality “a defining civil rights challenge of our time.”

“Already, my colleagues and I have announced the extension of significant benefits to Americans in same-sex marriages, including health insurance and other key benefits for federal employees and their families; a uniform policy ensuring that all same-sex married couples are recognized for federal tax purposes; and a policy dictating that, for purposes of immigration law, same-sex and opposite-sex marriages are treated exactly the same,” explained Holder.

A stepfather of two boys, Garnant says when the state of Michigan doesn’t legally validate his relationship with his partner, it teaches children that homosexuals are “less than” and spurs bullying and suicides.

“In our own family, how much we show up for the kids and teach them and encourage them and punish them when we have to and love them, you’re not just a boyfriend, you’re a stepfather,” added Garnant.

Others agree that marriage equality is a basic human right, therefore, a federal issue. “It means you’re a human being, that you’re an actual American, a United States citizen,” says Dr. Matthew Clark, a clinical psychologist in Grand Rapids. “It’s similar to the things that Kennedy fought for in the ‘60’s, similar, I believe, to the things that occurred in Nazi Germany, the travesties that are occurring right now in Russia. I think it’s all interrelated to seeing people of the LGBT community as not-equal human beings.”

But opponents say the federal government is undermining the authority and sovereignty of states. “We do believe this is yet another example of the lawlessness of the Obama administration, and as going well beyond what any court has required, or what any statute says, and instead pushing their own liberal ideological agenda,” says Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies with the Family Research Council.

This is the latest effect of the Supreme Court ruling that overturned part of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage to be heterosexual. Yet many, no matter what side they favor, say this is much deeper than marriage.

Holder said the Justice Department will issue a memorandum Monday, recognizing same-sex marriage “to the greatest extent possible under the law.”

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  • julie

    Great..I’m single not gay..working 2 low paying jobs to survive…no help from our government ..no playing or cheating the system ..paying double on taxes with 2 jobs..cause I’m not Gay I lose ..what a country :-)))

    • Gary

      Have you ever stopped to think that there are also single Gay People paying double taxes as well. The point is if you find Love and a relationship you have the right to marry. If a single Gay person that is in your same shoes and found love does not have the right to Marry. This has nothing to do with being single, I am sorry. There are single, people of all races, sexes and sexual orientation and I hope they all find Love and a relationship and also I hope they all have the right to marry. Something to think about Julie. BTW, I was that single pesron working 2 jobs for years and years on my own. I found love and now have been in a relationship for 18 years and because I am gay I can not marry.

  • Betty

    And how exactly do YOU lose because married gay people have full federal rights? What money are the gays getting from this? Did you even bother to READ the article?

  • Mot

    Once again the liberals usurped due possess.
    Every state that voted against homosexual marriage ( the will of the people) has been overturned by liberal activist judges.
    Now, the Just-us department has circumvented any more states voting…
    This is all to pander to the 2% of the nations homosexuals…

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