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Shocker: Pope Open to Gay Civil Unions
The Catholic Church could tolerate some types of civil unions as a way of protecting healthcare and property rights, Pope Francis said in an interview in the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera.
While asserting that “matrimony is between a man and a woman,” the pontiff added that moves to “regulate diverse situations of cohabitation [are] driven by the need to regulate economic aspects among persons, as for instance to assure medical care. … It is necessary to look at the diverse cases and evaluate them in their variety.”
It is the first time a Pope has ever indicated even a minute acceptance of civil unions.
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Statement of Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, on New Payments to Same-Sex Married Couples
December 16, 2013
“I am pleased to announce that, effective today, Social Security is processing some widow’s and widower’s claims by surviving members of same-sex marriages and paying benefits where they are due. In addition, we are able to pay some one-time lump sum death benefit claims to surviving same-sex spouses. As I stated shortly after the Supreme Court decision on Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, our goal is to treat all Americans with dignity and respect.
Justice Department adopts new same-sex marriage equal rights policy
The Justice Department on Monday will instruct all of its employees across the country, for the first time, to give lawful same-sex marriages sweeping equal protection under the law in every program it administers from courthouse trials to prison visits to the compensation of surviving spouses of public safety officers.
By Erin Delmore
PHOTO BY MARY SCHWALM/AP
NBA veteran Jason Collins, left, marches in Boston’s gay pride parade, June 8, 2013.
Former NBA player Jason Collins, who became the first male athlete actively playing on a major American sports team to come out as gay last April, will join first lady Michelle Obama in her VIP box above the House floor during Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, the White House announced Monday.
They will be joined by Boston Marathon bombing survivors Carlos Arredondo and Jeff Bauman, who became an iconic image of the “Boston strong” movement after Arredondo, 53, was photographed rushing Bauman, 27, to safety. Bauman, who lost both legs in the bombing, was vital in the effort to identify the bombers during his recovery in the hospital, the White House said.
Also joining the first lady is Gary Bird, the fire chief of Moore, Okla., who led the search and rescue efforts after a tornado decimated the town and killed 25 people last May. Also in attendance will be Kathy Hollowell-Makle, a teacher of the year from Washington, D.C., and 16-year-old Joey Hudy, the youngest-ever intern at Intel who caught President Obama’s eye with his “extreme marshmallow cannon” during a 2013 White House Science Fair.