Reaction to the Internal Revenue Service's announcement that it
would recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples came swiftly
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said in a statement that its “ruling
assures legally married same-sex couples that they can move freely
throughout the country knowing that their federal filing status will
Supporters cheered the news, which came two months after the
Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the law
that prohibited federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages
of gay couples.
“With today's ruling, committed and loving gay and lesbian
couples will now be treated equally under our nation's federal tax
laws, regardless of what state they call home,” said Chad Griffin,
president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest
LGBT rights advocate.
Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, added in
an emailed statement: “This announcement makes today a day of
celebration and relief for married same-sex couples all over America.
At long last, the IRS will treat them as what they are: married.
Freedom to Marry commends the administration's swift implementation
of the Supreme Court's landmark ruling for federal equality in an
area that will have a direct, tangible impact on families' financial
“The fact that this new respect applies only to married couples
– not those joined by domestic partnerships or civil unions –
highlights the need for an America where everyone can marry the
person they love in any state, and have that marriage respected at
all levels of government.”
The Christian conservative Family Research Council (FRC) said that
it was “displeased” with the announcement.
“State family policies have been undermined today by the Obama
administration,” FRC's Chris Gacek said in a statement. “The
federal government should not, as Kennedy stated in his opinion for
the majority in U.S. v. Windsor, 'put a thumb on the scales
and influence a state's decision as to how to shape its own marriage
laws.' We disagree with this interpretation of Windsor and
are displeased to see the Obama administration's lack of respect for
state marriage laws.”
spouses have equal access to nursing facilities through Medicare, HHS