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Federal Rights for LGBTQ Are Advancing

Attorney General Holder announced this week that more federal rights will be available to married same-sex couples (SSC) as a result of the Windsor decision. Watch Attorney General Holder’s inspiring speech.

These new rights will include:

  1. Services for LGBT survivors of abuse by their partner under the Violence Against Women Act
  2. Stronger civil rights protections for those who are the victims of hate crimes simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity (Matthew Shepard & James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act)
  3. Same sex spouses of individuals charged in a civil or criminal will have the right to refuse to testify under the marital privilege
  4. Same sex couples are eligible to file jointly for bankruptcy
  5. Federal inmates in same sex marriages are entitled to visitation with their spouse, escorted trips to attend a spouse’s funeral, to receive correspondence from a spouse
  6. Death benefits and educational benefits to surviving spouses of public safety officers (police, firefighters) who are killed in the line of duty.

Attorney General Holder issued a written memorandum on February 17, 2014 detailing the new protections.  Stay tuned to my blog for updates.

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