According to a story from thenewcivilrightsmovement.com, the U.S. Veterans Administration is beginning to change its tune when it comes to paying out retroactive death benefits to some partners in civil unions who had not yet had the ability to convert those civil unions into marriage licences. The move came, obviously, in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court Obergefell decision legalizing same-sex marriage on June 26. Joe Krumbach and Army vet Jerry Hatcher had all the trappings of a legitimate union in Washington, right down to the outrageous wedding ceremony in Seattle replete with butterflies and an Austin Powers impersonator (!). Unfortunately, Hatcher passed away from cancer in 2008, years before all civil unions would be automatically converted into marriages in Washington, leaving Krumbach begging at the federal trough for the benefits he rightfully deserved.
“I was pissed,” Krumbach told a Washington NBC affiliate. “How dare you say ‘no.’ His service was no different than any other service and denying someone those benefits is inherently wrong.”
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