LEGAL and social recognition for gays and lesbians and their families is a work in progress across all aspects of civil and community life in America.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Saturday that same-sex couples will be treated equally by the federal Department of Justice. Another step forward.
Holder, putting affirmative actions behind a 2013 Supreme Court ruling about federal benefits, said same-sex couples and heterosexual couples will have the same rights and options on everything from tax filings to bankruptcy proceedings.
More clarifications are coming on equal treatment in the criminal justice system and that labyrinth — from not having to testify against a spouse to prison visits.
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As the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force noted about Holder’s decisions on recognizing same-sex couples in Justice Department services, “This is very good news for the advancement of equality.”
Progress takes all forms. The legalization of same-sex marriage from Washington state to Minnesota and Rhode Island, among others, frames the broad change under way. Even in Utah, where legal challenges percolate, a state senator married his partner in a December ceremony.
Change of attitudes about gays and lesbians and same-sex couples is the norm, not a novelty, for all aspects of American life. From religious venues to other nearly sacred elements of the culture, such as professional football.
A University of Missouri football player with NFL potential announced he was gay before the draft. It is incumbent on the National Football League to acknowledge the breadth and wealth of talent available to sustain the game. Be open and honest about something that has been a reality forever.
America is a better place the more it acknowledges love and equality, and makes progress in equal treatment from matrimony to the halls of justice and the locker room.
Editorial board members are editorial page editor Kate Riley, Frank A. Blethen, Ryan Blethen, Sharon Pian Chan, Lance Dickie, Jonathan Martin, Thanh Tan, William K. Blethen (emeritus) and Robert C. Blethen (emeritus).