Justice Dept. Applies Same Sex Rights

MGN Online
By  | 

Eric Holder's decision to expand legal benefits and services for same-sex marriages will be put into action on Monday. He'll hand out a memo to his employees that instructs them to give same-sex marriages full recognition and protection in every state - including Nebraska.

Nebraska's State Constitution bans same-sex marriage; but, with Eric Holder's decision, same-sex marriage is now protected in every federal courthouse and proceeding where Justice Department employees stand.

Attorney General, Eric Holder, told CBS,"We will never rest in our efforts to safeguard the civil rights to which everyone in this country is entitled."

Liz Neeman, a Lincoln native, met her partner in 2011. She says that many of her friends don't realize how important it is to have these marital rights.

"They're not thinking about 'oh, when I get married, I'm going to be able to file a joint tax return, invoke spousal privilege and not have to testify against my fellow spouse.' They are just thinking, 'oh I get to wear a white dress and plan a wedding with my family,' but they don't realize that marriage is in fact a function of government," she said.

While Neeman is happy about this development, she still looks forward to full equality. "I would like to get married when I know all of these rights apply to me."

Neeman also says that while some within the church may be offended by this decision, church and state should remain separate.

Holder's ruling is based off of the Supreme Court's decision last June that cleared the way for legally married-same sex couples to receive federal benefits.