U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced on July 9, 2015 that full federal marriage benefits will be available to all same-sex spouses, following the Supreme Court’s landmark decision affirming the freedom of same-sex couples to marry nationwide. These benefits include eligibility for Supplemental Security Income, compensation for spouses or families of a military servicemember who died while in the line of duty, and spousal benefits for retirement and disability funds. Many of these benefits were previously denied to same-sex spouses in states without marriage equality.
Lynch said: “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.”
NCLR Policy Director Julie Gonen said: “We are extremely pleased at this swift action from the Administration to make the landmark decision in Obergefell a reality for all LGBTQ spouses across the nation. This action highlights the myriad ways that denial of legal marriage harmed families, harm that can finally be remedied by fair and equitable federal policy.”