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Ron Wyden Co Sponsors Bill to Extend Veteran Benefits to Same sex couples

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

 

Soldier

It's unconscionable that veterans with a same-sex spouse continue to be treated differently by the federal government.

On Monday, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden announced that he is co-sponsoring the reintroduction of the Charlie Morgan Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act, according to a media release. 

The Justice Department noted that the Department of Veterans Affairs is currently restricted from granting full veteran benefits to same sex couples in states that do not recognize same sex members as legal.

The Charlie Morgan Act would extend full military benefits to the partners of gay veterans and their families by amending the definition of marriage in Title 38. 

The act is named after Charlie Morgan, a gay veteran who died in 2013.

After Morgan’s death, her partner and daughter were deemed ineligible for survivor benefits because they lived in a state that did not recognize Morgan’s same sex marriage, according to Shaheen’s office.

Even though the Supreme Court later ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional, same sex couples and their families continued to remain ineligible for full benefits depending on their location. 

“It's unconscionable that veterans with a same-sex spouse continue to be treated differently by the federal government simply because they happen to live in a non-marriage equality state," said the Government Affairs Director, David Stacy. 

 

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