White House news release:
Education Department Announces that All Legal Same-Sex Marriages Will Be Recognized for Federal Financial Aid Purposes
As part of the U.S. Department of Education’s ongoing efforts to implement inclusive policies that reflect the diversity of American families, and consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in United States v. Windsor, the Department announced today new guidance on the use of “marriage” and “spouse” in the federal student aid programs, including on the completion of the FAFSA, the federal student aid form.
The new guidance is based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor, which struck down a key part of DOMA. Under today’s guidance, the Department will recognize a student or a parent as legally married if the couple was legally married in any jurisdiction that recognizes the marriage, regardless of whether the marriage is between a couple of the same sex or opposite sex, and regardless of where the student or couple lives or the student is attending school. This guidance impacts all questions concerning marriage and marital status on the FAFSA.
Before the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Windsor, the Department had interpreted all provisions of Title IV of the Higher Education Act – which authorizes the federal student aid programs – consistent with Section 3 of DOMA, which prohibited all federal agencies from recognizing same-sex marriages. Specifically, Section 3 provides that “the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.” This meant that while a student under 24 who was married to an opposite sex spouse was considered independent for financial aid purposes, that same student would have been considered dependent if he or she was married to a same sex spouse because the marriage was not previously recognized. In Windsor, the Supreme Court held that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional because it violates the principles of due process and equal protection.
“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,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “As students fill out their FAFSA this coming year, I'm thrilled they'll be able to do so in a way that is more fair and just.”
In April 2013, the Department began efforts to make the FAFSA more inclusive of all students, regardless of their parents’ marital status. In order to more accurately and fairly assess a student’s need for aid, the Department announced that beginning with the 2014-2015 FAFSA, it will collect income and other information from both of a dependent student's legal parents regardless of the parents' marital status or gender, if those parents live together. To do so, the 2014-2015 FAFSA will provide a new option for dependent applicants to describe their parents' marital status as "unmarried and both parents living together." Additionally, where appropriate, the new FAFSA form will also use terms like "Parent 1 (father/mother/stepparent)" and "Parent 2 (father/mother/stepparent)" instead of gender-specific terms like "mother" and "father." A copy of the new FAFSA form, which will be released on Jan. 1, is attached. The vast majority of FAFSA forms are filed electronically using FAFSA on the Web.
The information provided by students and parents on the FAFSA is used to calculate the student's expected family contribution (EFC), which determines the student's eligibility for federal need-based student aid as well as for many state, institutional and private aid programs. It is critical that both of a dependent student's parents help pay, to the extent they are able, for the educational expenses of their child. Collecting parental information from both of a dependent student's legal parents will result in fair treatment of all families by eliminating longstanding inequities based on parents' relationship with each other rather than on their relationship with their child.
Today’s guidance furthers those efforts by providing guidance on how students should apply for federal student aid, since now legally married same-sex couples will be treated as married for all FAFSA and EFC calculation purposes. For the 2014-2015 FAFSA and subsequent years, responses to questions about marital status must be in accordance with the guidance the Department laid out today in a Dear Colleague Letter that was posted to the Department’s Information for Financial Aid Professionals website (ifap.ed.gov).
The impact on the 2013-2014 FAFSA – which students used and can continue to use to apply for aid for this school year – depends on whether the student has already submitted a 2013-2014 FAFSA. Students who have not yet submitted a 2013-2014 FAFSA are expected to respond to all questions related to marital status in accordance with the updated guidance. A student who previously submitted a 2013-2014 FAFSA, but who was unable to respond to marital status questions as “married” due to Section 3 of DOMA, may choose to submit a correction. These optional corrections will be permitted since they do not represent a change in marital status, but rather an acknowledgment of the marital status at the time of the initial 2013-2014 FAFSA submission. This choice only applies if the impacted student and/or parent were legally married at the time the FAFSA was initially completed.
For more information about federal student aid, visit the Department's website: studentaid.ed.gov
Hundreds packed The Cabaret South Beach for the piano bar’s official opening-night festivities on Thursday.
Nightlife promoter Edison Farrow (SoBe Social Club) and business partner Ed DeCaso have officially opened The Cabaret South Beach at 233 12th St.
The bar’s opening will continue to be celebrated on Friday and Saturday nights.
Click here for more opening-night pictures. Photos by STEVE ROTHAUS / Miami Herald Staff.
About one month ago, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered nine states, including Florida, to provide military IDs for National Guard same-sex spouses.
Florida came into compliance in early November. Since then all other states are issuing military IDs, according to a statement released Friday by the White House:
Statement by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Same-Sex Benefits
On Oct. 31, I called on the chief of the National Guard Bureau to work with several states to fully implement Department of Defense policy by providing DoD identification cards to all eligible military spouses, regardless of sexual orientation. Following consultations between the National Guard Bureau and the adjutants general of the states, all eligible service members, dependents and retirees - including same-sex spouses - are now able to obtain ID cards in every state. All military spouses and families sacrifice on behalf of our country. They deserve our respect and the benefits they are entitled to under the law. All of DoD is committed to pursuing equal opportunities for all who serve this nation, and I will continue to work to ensure our men and women in uniform as well as their families have full and equal access to the benefits they deserve.
December 13, 2013 in Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Military, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
Huffington Post Gay Voices on Friday published an interview with Kate S. Logan, director of an upcoming documentary, Kidnapped for Christ.
The film, executive produced by Lance Bass, “is a compelling new documentary that follows the experiences of several American teenagers after they were kidnapped from their homes and shipped to Evangelical Reform schools located in the Dominican Republic,” writes Huffington Post.
In the interview, Logan describes life in the camps:
The "treatment" was called "Culture Shock Therapy" by the administrators. So their actual methods involved jarring kids enough that they were more malleable emotionally and mentally. That was Step One, and it involved strenuous and intense physical labor and exercise, constant repetition of religious and program-written texts, and severe punishments for students who "acted out." Those punishments could be hours of manual labor, exercising, or actual physical beatings, which they called "swats."
The Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce held its fourth annual LGBT Holigay Celebration and Toy Drive to benefit the Miami-Beach Police Department’s Toy Drive.
In one of his first major appearances at an LGBT group since winning the election in November, Levine greeted guests and posed for pictures.
In the lower photo, Levine is flanked by Miami Beach Police Chief Raymond Martinez and gay chamber President Steve Adkins.
The event was held at the LGBT Visitor Center, 1130 Washington Ave., Miami Beach.
Click here for a Holigay photo gallery. Photos by STEVE ROTHAUS / Miami Herald Staff.