When Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC started the Nontraditional Couples and Families Practice in 2001, I would speak to groups about same-sex couples not having the ability to use any Federal laws regarding marital status . There were about 1,400 laws from the Federal government unavailable to married same-sex couples. Then it became about 1,100 laws that same sex couples were excluded from. Now I am happy to say that the Obama administration and the Justice Department will instruct all of its employees across the country, for the first time, to give lawful same-sex marriage sweeping equal protection under the law in every program it administers. In a new policy memo, the department will spell out the rights of married same-sex couples.
Some of the federal rights you now have are: the right to decline giving testimony that might incriminate your spouse, eligibility to jointly file bankruptcy, and 1,098 more! I will place the list on our blog, when it is out.
For more information, please follow the links to the two news articles below:
Maureen B. Cohon, Esquire – Chair, Nontraditional Couples and Families Group