By Essence Dennis |Staff Writer|
The Department of Justice is administering a new policy on Feb. 17, 2014 that deals with rightful benefits to married same-sex couples.
This is a new form of instruction where their employees get equal protection for lawful same-sex marriage.
This policy is going to put into effect the types of benefits that opposite-sex marriage people have already been receiving. For example, “An inmate in a same-sex marriage can be furloughed to be present during a crisis involving a spouse,” according to The Washington Post.
The policy means that in every aspect the Department of Justice is connected to in the United States, they will be striving towards equality for all marriages.
“Today, our nation moves closer toward its ideals of equality and fairness for all,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin, “[this] announcement will change the lives of countless committed gay and lesbian couples for the better.”
“As a bisexual woman I feel I should have the same benefits as people in an opposite-sex relationship because my love is the same no matter who I give it to, I think it’s ridiculous that this is just now happening in 2014,” commented student Celeste Noelle.
So far the Justice Department has been on top of things and has instated the policy changes to extend “federal benefits to same-sex married couples,” according to The Washington Post.
One of the policies states that federal employees in same-sex marriages are now able to apply for “health, dental, life, long-term care and retirement benefits.”
“I’m really glad that people are finally starting to acknowledge gays and gay rights because isn’t that what America is all about, Equality?” said student Tesh Richard.
When discussing the clauses of the policy, which deals with the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund and the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program, student Trevor Nugent questioned, “If a gay person can die for you, then why shouldn’t their spouse be able to receive the same type of benefits that a heterosexual couple would receive after going through the same tragedy?”
“We will get there,” said student Ernie Arrizu. “I believe with the hard work that activists have done, the people of this new generation have become more accepting of gay people because they realize we aren’t going anywhere.”
“I think (the policy is) great, but I don’t think we’re still being seen as equals. We are getting rights that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people didn’t have before,” said Donna Guevara, student assistant in the Pride Center when asked about LGBTQ people being seen as equals nowadays in the U.S.
Guevara adds, “We still live in a cis-gender (someone whose gender identity matches the sex they were given at birth) hetero-normative (a world view that promotes heterosexuality as the norm) society we live in and we’re still not there, everyone’s not equal across the board.”
“I think that it’s a great thing that we’re finally being recognized, but we still have a long way to go. For example the Trans struggle, there’s still a lot of benefits that need to happen, it’s a good start but everyone should be able to get benefits; dental, medical, life, everyone should be able to acquire all of that,” said Gabby Sandoval, lead student assistant of the CSUSB Pride Center.
With the policy to be initiated Monday, the public should expect to see changes within the LGBTQ community.