SENATE EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR SHAHEEN PROVISION TO END DISCRIMINATION AGAINST SAME-SEX MILITARY COUPLESMarch 26, 2015
(WASHINGTON, DC) – This evening the United States Senate passed a budget amendment introduced by U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Patty Murray (D-WA) that supports ending a discriminatory statute that limits Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits for same-sex couples. Currently, families in states where same-sex marriages are not recognized remain ineligible for certain VA benefits. The amendment also supports extending Social Security benefits to same-sex couples.
“No one who has served in uniform or their family should be denied veterans benefits they’ve earned because of whom they love or where they live,” Shaheen said. “The Senate’s support for ending this discriminatory policy is an encouraging step toward righting this wrong.”
According to the Justice Department, the VA is unable to grant comprehensive benefits to same-sex couples in states that do not recognize such legal marriages. Earlier this year, Senator Shaheen introduced The Charlie Morgan Act – legislation to address the lingering inequality by altering the definition of marriage in Title 38 to ensure that all veterans receive the federal benefits they’ve earned, regardless of their state of residency.
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