Federal Govt. Extends Additional Protections to Married Same-Sex Couples


Press Contact:

Angela Dallara
Media Relations Manager, Freedom to Marry

Washington, DC – Today the Department of Justice issued a memo extending new federal protections to legally married same-sex couples, including in the states that still discriminate against their marriages. Under the new policy, married gay Americans can file joint bankruptcy, visit spouses in federal prison, refuse to testify against their spouse in federal court, and share in death benefits to surviving spouses of police officers and firefighters who are injured or killed in the line of duty.

Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:

“Today's announcement by the Department of Justice will have an immediate, tangible impact on tens of thousands of married couples and their families all across the country. By increasing the federal programs and protections afforded to married gay couples, including those living in states that still discriminate, the Attorney General continues to show his commitment to the constitutional imperative of equal treatment under the law. The federal government has taken another step to putting its moral and legal weight on the side of the freedom to marry.”

Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.