By James Withers on gaystarnews.com
US Department of Justice
The US government announced on Saturday it will recognize same-sex marriage in six more states.
The states are Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
The announcement (25 October) mirrors a similar one made by Attorney General Eric Holder approximately a week ago.
The finding is based on the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear marriage equality appeals.
As of now, the US government accepts gay marriage certificates from 32 states and the District of Columbia.
LGBTI couples married in those 32 states are now eligible for federal benefits from the Social Security Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs.
‘With each new state where same-sex marriages are legally recognized, our nation moves closer to achieving of full equality for all Americans,’ Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.
‘We are acting as quickly as possible with agencies throughout the government to ensure that same-sex married couples in these states receive the fullest array of benefits allowable under federal law,’ the attorney general continued.
- See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/us-federal-government-recognizes-same-sex-marriage-six-more-states261014#sthash.n7cjc1Bg.dpuf
Two fighters for the Florida Keys’ same-sex marriage equality led Saturday night’s lavish Fantasy Fest Parade in Key West, capping 10 days of masking and costuming events in the festival that ended Sunday.
Parade grand marshals Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones won a landmark court ruling overturning Florida’s statewide same-sex marriage ban for Florida Keys residents. A subsequent appeal by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (three times married herself) means they still can’t marry, but their parade float proclaimed their desire to tie the knot.
“Our float was designed for us. It’s a wedding cake with the rainbow over top of it symbolizing the marriage equality that we’re aiming for,” said Jones, who rode atop the float with Huntsman while 33 other couples in wedding attire marched beside it. “I hope that our appearance as grand marshals of Fantasy Fest will show the rest of the state, and our state attorney general and our governor, that we’re all one human family and that we need equality now,” said Huntsman. “And no more wasting taxpayers’ money. Let’s get it done.”
On Friday, Bondi filed a last minute motion against lifting the stay issued by a federal court in Tallahassee.
22-year-old Ben Panico is living his dream working with Rep. Jared Polis and the LGBT Equality Caucus in Washington D.C. But as Fusion points out, Panico also happens to be the only openly trans staffer currently working on Capitol Hill – a reality not lost on him.
Said Panico: “I think it’s very important for trans people to be represented on The Hill so that people can represent their community and can really provide an extra voice, add something to the discussion. I have had unique experiences that no one on The Hill can speak for.”
Check out his incredible story, including how he deals with some of the more vocal anti-LGBT foes on Capitol Hill: http://www.towleroad.com/#ixzz3HLzGP98d