HomeNewsUnder Obama, Windsor Implementation Constitutes the Largest Conferral of Rights to LGBT People in History

Under Obama, Windsor Implementation Constitutes the Largest Conferral of Rights to LGBT People in History

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Under Obama, Windsor Implementation Constitutes the Largest Conferral of Rights to LGBT People in History

WASHINGTON – Earlier today, the Justice Department released a report

detailing the Obama administration’s broad implementation of the

Supreme Court’s United States v. Windsor decision, which struck down

key components of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last year.  Under

the leadership of President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder,

the breadth with which this administration has implemented the Windsor

decision constitutes the single largest conferral of rights to LGBT

people in history.

“President Obama’s advocacy on behalf of LGBT people is nothing less

than historic,” said Human Rights Campaign (HRC) president Chad

Griffin.  “We are incredibly grateful to both the president and

Attorney General Eric Holder for keeping their promise of fighting to

wipe out anti-LGBT discrimination at the federal level.  There is no

question that the lives of LGBT people today are immeasurably better

today than they were before this president took office.

“The administration’s sweeping interpretation and implementation of

the Windsor decision has led to greatest conferral of equal rights,

benefits and obligations to LGBT people in our nation’s history. In

record time, Attorney General Holder has moved heaven and earth to

guarantee equality, and the LGBT community could not ask for a better

partner in progress.”

Today’s report also identifies that the administration is unable to

extend some Social Security and Veterans benefits to married same-sex

couples living in states that do not recognize their marriages. The

Justice Department has determined that statutory references to “state

of domicile” or similar terms require Congress to pass legislation to

amend the statues to provide for a “state of celebration” standard.

Also included in the report was an announcement that the VA Acting

Secretary will allow for same-sex couples to be buried together in a

national cemetery.  Furthermore, the Social Security administration

will begin extending survivor benefits, lump sum death benefits and

aged spouse benefits to same-sex couples if one partner is eligible to

inherit from the other partner under state law.  This would include

couples with civil unions or domestic partnerships from states like

Colorado, Nevada and Wisconsin.

Just prior to the release of the report, the Department of Labor

issued a notice of proposed rulemaking which will permit same-sex

couples to access leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

regardless of state of residence. The Office of Personnel Management

also announced its intent to extend family leave to all federal

employees who are married to a same-sex spouse.

(Courtesy of HRC)

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