Fed: Gay Couples Get New Benefits

    J. Scott Applewhite/AP

    Attorney General Eric Holder announced yesterday that the U.S. Justice Department will expand many new benefits to gay married couples. A major one is “spousal privilege,” the practice of allowing husbands and wives not to testify against each other. A Kentucky court denied that right in September to a woman who did not want to incriminate her partner in a capital murder case. Surviving spouses will also receive death benefits for law enforcement officials who have died on duty and September 11 victims. Holder compared the current fight for gay rights to the 1960s civil rights movement. "As attorney general, I will not let this department be simply a bystander during this important moment in history," he said.

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