On behalf of Equality Pennsylvania, I want to praise and thank U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for increasing protections for married same-sex couples.
On Feb. 8, Holder said the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declared it unconstitutional to refuse federal benefits to married same-sex couples also extends their rights. Holder said same-sex spouses cannot be compelled to testify against each other, will be eligible to file for bankruptcy jointly and will be entitled to the same rights and privileges as federal prison inmates who are married.
For committed couples all over the commonwealth, this announcement comes as welcome news. Now all legally married couples will receive the same protections as any other married couple under federal law in these important areas. However, until all committed couples in our state have the same freedom to marry, we will not have equal protection under the law — and that is what all Pennsylvanians deserve.
The writer is the executive director of Equality Pennsylvania, which seeks to advance equality and opportunity for gay Pennsylvanians.