Obama administration to extend veterans' benefits to married gays

By REUTERS
September 4, 2013 22:14

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration will allow same-sex spouses of veterans to receive federal benefits currently only available to heterosexual married couples, US Attorney General Eric Holder said in a letter to members of Congress on Wednesday.

The decision comes just over two months after the US Supreme Court struck down a federal law that denied federal benefits to legally married gay and lesbian couples.

The announcement will make the same-sex spouses of veterans eligible for various benefits, including healthcare and survivor benefits.

Wednesday's announcement was the latest by the Obama administration on recognition of same-sex marriage following the Supreme Court decision in June to invalidate the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA. Just last week, the US Treasury Department said the Internal Revenue Service would recognize legally married same-sex couples for federal tax purposes.


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