Today, in a status conference with Lambda Legal in federal court in Chicago, the Department of Justice announced that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will apply the U.S. Supreme Court's recent landmark marriage ruling retroactively and process pending spousal benefits claims for same-sex couples who lived in states that did not previously recognize their marriages.
Following the Supreme Court’s recent historic decision to grant same-sex couples throughout the United States the freedom to marry and the right to recognition of their marriages in Obergefell v. Hodges, many questions have surfaced about just how the ruling will affect same-sex couples and families. In an attempt to answer many of these questions, legal teams at Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Freedom to Marry, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) teamed up to develop a joint FAQ.
Today, Lambda Legal, the ACLU and Ohio-based Gerhardstein & Branch filed their brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Henry v. Hodges and Obergefell v. Hodges arguing that Ohio’s ban on recognizing the legal marriages of same-sex couples violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the U.S. Constitution. Here's what you need to know.
In broad and unequivocal language, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder emphasized in a memo released Monday that “It is the Department’s policy, to the extent federal law permits, to recognize lawful same-sex marriages as broadly as possible, and to recognize all marriages valid in the jurisdiction where the marriage was celebrated.”
We are relieved that the Court has preserved its 2003 Grutter decision. As legal advocates for LGBT people and people with HIV of all races and ethnicities, we are deeply committed to the values of diversity and fairness.