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In the summer of 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a central component of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), holding in U.S. v. Windsor that the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages that have been legally performed in individual states. Until the June 29, 2015 decision of Obergefell v. Hodges, not all states recognized or would perform same-sex marriages; that decision required all states to do so. The effect of Obergefell simply means that the DOMA decision discussed here will apply to same sex marriages wherever they are performed.
Several months after the Windsor decision, in February of 2014, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced new Department of Justice (DOJ) policies on same-sex marriage. Holder’s memo stated in part, “It is the Department’s policy, to the extent federal law permits, to recognize lawful same-sex marriages as broadly as possible, and to recognize all marriages valid in the jurisdiction where the marriage was celebrated.”
Though by its own terms not exhaustive, Holder’s memo:
As another part of the new policy, in criminal cases the DOJ will honor assertions of marital privileges involving legal same-sex marriages.
For detailed information about the marital privileges, see Privileged Information at Trial: Spousal Privileges for Same-Sex Couples.