Same-Sex Couples Are People, Justice Department Announces

Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to announce on Monday that he will instruct the Justice Department to extend full and equal protection to same-sex marriages in all of the programs it oversees. Among the considerations granted in the policy memo are that same-sex couples cannot be compelled to testify against one another in court, that they can apply jointly for federal bankruptcy, and that federal inmates can avail themselves of the same allowances as other married couples such as in visitation rights. Also it's mandatory that people stop bitching about Looking now.

"In every courthouse, in every proceeding and in every place where a member of the Department of Justice stands on behalf of the United States, they will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same privileges, protections and rights as opposite-sex marriages under federal law," Holder will announce Saturday night at an event for the Human Rights Campaign in New York.

Employees of the Justice Department will also see their spouses granted the same benefits as all of its other employees.

This is just the latest in a long line of decisions since the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act this summer that have broadened protections for same-sex marriages, as the AP points out:

...the Treasury Department and the IRS said that all legally married gay couples may file joint federal tax returns, even if they reside in states that do not recognize same-sex marriages. The Defense Department said it would grant military spousal benefits to same-sex couples. The Health and Human Services Department said the Defense of Marriage Act is no longer a bar to states recognizing same-sex marriages under state Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Programs. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management said it is now able to extend benefits to legally married same-sex spouses of federal employees and annuitants.

Earlier this year the Justice Department announced that it would recognize 1,300 disputed same-sex marriages in Utah, despite the state's refusal to do so.

"It's more utter lawlessness from the Obama administration," said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, in a statement criticizing the news. Not immediately clear at the time was the Justice Department's stance on whether or not it were permissible for Brown and his group to still legally go and fuck themselves.

[Photo Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images]