US extending federal marriage benefits to gay couples in every state following court ruling | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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US extending federal marriage benefits to gay couples in every state following court ruling

In this June 26, 2015 photo, supporters celebrate outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington after the court declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States. Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the government will make federal marriage benefits available to same-sex couples following a Supreme Court decision last month that legalized same-sex marriage. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
July 09, 2015 - 10:10 AM

WASHINGTON - Same-sex married couples can now receive federal pensions and veterans benefits for spouses in all 50 states, as the federal government implements the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed gay couples to marry nationwide.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Thursday the federal government is making all marriage benefits available to same-sex couples in every state.

The vast majority of federal marriage benefits were already available to same-sex couples, following a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that struck down the federal ban on gay marriage. However, some Social Security and veterans benefits for spouses were still denied to these couples if they lived in states that did not recognize their marriages.

"I am proud to announce that the critical programs for veterans and elderly and disabled Americans, which previously could not give effect to the marriages of couples living in states that did not recognize those marriages, will now provide federal recognition for all marriages nationwide," Lynch said in a statement. "The agencies are currently working towards providing guidance to implement this change in law."

The Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision last month that the Constitution provides a right to same-sex marriage.

In her statement, Lynch said the government will strive to "fulfil our commitment to equal treatment for all Americans."

News from © The Associated Press, 2015
The Associated Press

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