The Supreme Court’s ruling that marriage equality is the law of the land in all 50 states not only means that same-sex couples can now get married in any state, but also that any married couples living in a state where same-sex marriages were formerly illegal can now receive federal marriage benefits. Well, now that the U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has put the ruling into action, it does.
In a statement this morning, Lynch said,
Following the Supreme Court’s historic decision in Obergefell that every couple has the same right to participate in the institution of marriage, whether the partners are of the same-sex or opposite sexes, I directed Justice Department staff to work with the agencies to ensure that the ruling be given full effect across the federal government. Thanks to their leadership and the quick work of the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs, today 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.
This is one of the reasons the SCOTUS ruling was such a major win. Previously, even though marriages remained legal when carried over to states where they couldn’t be performed, benefits like social security had to be given out based on the laws where a couple lived. So now not only can people get married to whomever they love all across the country, but anything that marriage legally entitles them to will follow wherever their lives take them.
Truly, we are living in a freer country thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling—no matter who wants to think otherwise.
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