More Federal Agencies To Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

Customs and Border Patrol and the Department of Education will now honor same-sex unions for benefits and paperwork

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Two more federal agencies announced Friday they will change their policies to recognize same-sex marriages, as the Obama administration continues to implement government-wide changes after the Supreme Court struck down part of an anti-gay marriage law this year.

The Department of Education will now recognize same-sex marriages for purposes of filing for financial aid, including completing the FAFSA form. The rule change could have a significant impact on the children of same-sex couples applying for federal financial aid.

“We must continue to ensure that every single American is treated equally in the eyes of the law, and this important guidance for students is another step forward in that effort,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement.

Customs and Border Protection, meanwhile, said it will expand  the definition of “members of a family residing in a household” to include “long-term same-sex couples and other domestic relationships,” which will make it easier for couples to file joint customs declarations when returning to the country. The change could help streamline the border control process, requiring less paperwork for both travelers and border patrol.

The changes come after the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.