Same sex couples in the US will soon benefit from similar rights before the law as heterosexual couples.
US Attorney General Eric Holder announced at the Human Rights Campaign event, that as of Monday, there will be widespread changes in the Justice Department when dealing with same-sex married couples.
The changes will mean that in states which recognise gay marriage, spouses will be exempt from testifying against each other in civil and criminal cases. Holder is also pushing for rights in bankruptcy proceedings, death benefits as well as prison visitation rights.
It comes after the Supreme Court struck down part of the 1996 Defence of Marriage Act last June – which had previously only recognised heterosexual couples’ rights.
Gay marriage is only recognised in 17 of the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia.