U.S. Attorney General extends protections for gay and lesbian married couples

U.S. Attorney General extends protections for gay and lesbian married couples
NEW YORK CITY, New York - United State Attorney General Eric Holder has applied a landmark Supreme Court ruling to the Justice Department treatment of gay and lesbian married couples.

Holder says the Justice Department will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same privileges, protections and rights as opposite-sex marriages.

The decision means the following policy changes will go into effect:

-married gay/lesbian couples can jointly file for bankruptcy
-a gay spouse cannot be compelled to testify if it damages their
spouse's case
-homosexual federal prisoners will be entitled to visitation by
their spouse, be granted furloughs during family emergencies and
be escorted to funerals
-domestic support obligations will now be enforced under federal
law with includes alimony owed to a former spouse
-spouses will receive benefits from the September 11th Victim
Compensation Fund if eligible
-spouses will receive benefits if their partner is a public safety
officer and suffers a catastrophic injury or is killed in the line of duty

Holder says he is sending out a memo to Justice Department staff detailing the new policies that go into effect immediately.