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Married same-sex couples will be eligible for veterans benefits

In a letter to U.S. Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) dated Sept. 4, Attorney General Eric Holder informed the Republican House Speaker that President Obama's administration will extend veterans benefits for married same-sex couples.

This comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling that struck down a key portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, and the Internal Revenue Service's Aug. 29 decision to allow same-sex married couples to file federal taxes together and share Medicare benefits.

Based on the court ruling, the administration will no longer enforce policies that restrict veteran benefits to legally married opposite-sex couples.

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Department of Defense clarifies rules on military benefits for gay couples

The U.S. Department of Defense today announced plans to extend benefits to spouses of same-sex uniformed service members and civilian employees in the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision that found Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

The DOD plans to make spousal and family benefits available by Sept. 3. Those benefits will be retroactive to the day of the court decision, June 26.

In a memo, dated Aug. 13 but released to media today, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel lays out the DOD's new rules for legally married gay and lesbian couples.

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Lambda Legal announces first post-DOMA marriage lawsuit — and it’s in the South

Lambda Legal Greg Nevins

First up: Virginia.

Lambda Legal today announced its intent to sue the state of Virginia alongside the American Civil Liberties Union in what will likely be the LGBT organization’s first new federal lawsuit over marriage rights since the U.S. Supreme Court found section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional.

"The end of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act opens a new chapter in our work to ensure same-sex couples and their families across the country are treated with dignity and respect," said Greg Nevins, supervising senior staff attorney in Lambda Legal's Southern Regional Office based in Atlanta.

"We know that many same-sex couples and their families have waited a long time and we are excited to announce that the campaign for the freedom to marry is coming South,” Nevins said.

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Historic rulings show work remains for marriage equality here

Atlanta Day of Decision rally

Christopher Dellamura joined the military in 1998 — five years after the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on gay service members was enacted, and two years after the Defense of Marriage Act became the law of the land.

Now, in not even two years, he has seen both of those policies fall.

“Serving in silence was a daily burden added to the difficulties of serving in the military,” said Dellamura, an Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 stationed at Fort Benning, near Columbus, Ga. “I felt as though I lied to everyone that I worked with and this hurt almost every professional and personal relationship that I had with my co-workers.  Immediately after the repeal, if felt like a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders.”