09/24/2013 05:57 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

New Federal Rules for Recognizing Marriages (VIDEO)

It should go without saying, but last week the U.S. Department of Labor laid to rest any doubt you may have had.

If you're married, you're married, no matter what state you're in, at least for the purposes of employee benefits.

The guideline essentially boils down to "just because someone crossed a state line doesn't mean you can pretend they're legal strangers."

That's good news for gay and lesbian couples in every state, but it really only applies to couples who have access to marriage. Fortunately, there's plenty of activity right now in non-marriage states to overturn bans.

In North Carolina, organizers are looking for a brave county clerk who would be willing to challenge the state's anti-gay laws. Arizona and Ohio are ramping up public education campaigns. And Michigan is heading toward a hearing on its marriage ban on Oct. 16.