Attorney General Eric Holder today issued the following statement regarding the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidance to Federal agencies. On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in United States v. Windsor, holding Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, unconstitutional. As a result of this decision, the Federal government will now be able to extend benefits to Federal employees and annuitants who have legally married a spouse of the same sex.
“Today’s announcement represents a historic step toward equality for all American families. The Supreme Court ruled this week that Americans in same-sex marriages are entitled to equal protection and equal treatment under the law. By extending health insurance and other important benefits to federal employees and their families, regardless of whether they are in same-sex or opposite-sex marriages, the Obama Administration is making real the promise of this important decision.
“These initial changes in federal benefits will make a meaningful, positive difference in the lives of many. But this is only the beginning. As the President directed, the Department of Justice will continue to coordinate with other federal agencies to implement this ruling as swiftly and smoothly as possible. I look forward to sharing additional information as it becomes available. We will never stop fighting to ensure equality, opportunity, and – above all – justice for everyone in this country.”