NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Starting on Monday, same sex couples who are married will have access to federal benefits. From Social Security to tax-filing benefits, same sex couples will be entitled to the same rights as heterosexual ones.
For many in Northampton it’s been a long time coming.
“It’s a positive sign. Considering it seems like they are doing everything they can at the federal level to expand as many civil liberties as they can without the legislative process,” said David Suzenski on Main Street Sunday.
On Saturday night, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Justice Department’s landmark policy.
“The singular ideal that has defined this country since its earliest days, the notion that all are created equal. And that all are entitled to opportunity and equal justice under law,” said Holder in New York on Saturday.
David Garnes has been fighting for equal rights since the Stonewall riots in 1969. On Sunday, he celebrated the news with his Unitarian fellowship in Northampton.
“I do have to say it’s amazing to me. I never thought I could see this kind of event happen in my lifetime, but it has. 8 I think there’s still a long way to go. I mean something can be legal but not necessarily welcomed by everyone,” said Garnes in Northampton.
Among the members of the fellowship who traveled from Manchester, CT was 15-year-old Edward Wild who was adopted by a same sex couple. And says the policy will positively impact his family.
“People work really hard. And if families are going to be left in a situation if something happens. I think it’s good that this is made so that it’s for everybody. There’s only one race and that’s the human race,” said Wild.
In the 33 states where same sex marriage is banned, the policy would only apply where the federal government has jurisdiction.