Saturday, February 08, 2014

Holder Says Justice Department Will Aggressively Defend Same-sex Marriage

Eric Holder
THE GUARDIAN: • Attorney general vows to apply landmark supreme court ruling
 • Holder compares gay marriage to 60s campaign for civil rights

In an assertion of same-sex marriage rights the US attorney general, Eric Holder, will announce on Saturday that he will apply a landmark supreme court ruling to the Justice Department.

In prepared remarks to be delivered in New York to the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group which works on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, Holder said same-sex spouses could not now be compelled to testify against each other, should be eligible to file for bankruptcy jointly and are entitled to the same rights and privileges as federal prison inmates in opposite-sex marriages.

The Justice Department runs a number of benefits programmes, and Holder said same-sex couples will now qualify for them. They include the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and benefits to surviving spouses of public safety officers who suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries in the line of duty.

“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,” Holder said.

Just as in the civil rights struggles of the 1960s, Holder said, the stakes in the current generation over same-sex marriage rights “could not be higher”. Read on and comment » | Associated Press in Washington | Saturday, February 08, 2014