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Obama: Federal same-sex marriage benefits should cross state lines

DAKAR, Senegal — President Barack Obama says the Supreme Court's rulings on gay marriage were a victory not just for gays and lesbians, but for American democracy.

He says as president, he believes federal benefits should be granted to couples married in a state that recognizes gay marriage even if they move to a state that doesn't.

Obama says he asked his lawyers to start evaluating how to update federal statutes to grant gay couples federal benefits even before the high court ruled.

Obama spoke in Dakar, Senegal, at a joint news conference with Senegal's President Macky Sall. Obama said different customs and religious beliefs must be respected in different countries, but states and laws should treat everyone equally.

Sall says Senegal is not ready to decriminalize homosexuality.

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