iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Same-sex couples were granted extended benefits Friday, one year after the Supreme Court struck down a law barring the federal recognition of gay marriage.
The expansion includes the extension of the Family Medical Leave Act, allowing employers to give workers time off to care for a spouse. Health insurance and retirement benefits will be also be available for same-sex spouses of all federal employees.
In addition, private employers in any state will now be required to provide benefits to a couple married in a state recognizing same-sex marriage. Still, when it comes to social security and veterans affairs, major spousal benefits cannot be extended to same-sex couples who live in states that don’t recognize the union.
The Windsor decision in 2013 put an end to Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act that prohibited the government from recognizing same-sex married couples for federal purposes.
“The implementation of the Windsor decision across the entire federal government is an accomplishment that reflects countless hours of hard work, cooperation, and coordination across agencies,” Attorney General Holder wrote in the memorandum to President Obama on Friday.
“As additional issues arise, we will continue to work together to uphold this Administration’s fundamental commitment to equal treatment for all Americans, and to extend this fundamental equality to all Americans.”
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