The results of the Supreme Court's decision striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act keep rolling out, with the Labor Department announcing that married same-sex couples should be included in benefit plans, even if they don't live in a state with marriage equality:
Same-sex spouses, regardless of where they live, can now participate in the private retirement and healthcare plans overseen by the department's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the department said in a release.
That includes "approximately 701,000 private sector retirement plans, 2.3 million health plans and other plans that provide benefits to more than 141 million Americans." Got married in Massachusetts but live in Arkansas? You should be covered. However, civil unions, even state-recognized ones, will not be treated as marriage for these purposes.
It's another major step forward in making all marriages equal, as is the fact that Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez said he has "directed the department's agency heads to ensure that they are implementing the decision in a way that provides maximum protection for workers and their families."