Thu | Jun 24, 2021

Lawmaker backs benefits for same-sex spouses

Published:Friday | June 29, 2012 | 12:00 AM


A Democratic congressman wants same-sex benefits for spouses of veterans and service members.

Representative Adam Smith of Washington is top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee. Smith is introducing legislation to make the Defence and Veterans Affairs departments recognise any marriage that has been recognised by a state, the District of Columbia, commonwealths or territories.

His bill would change the definition of spouse in the US code to include same-sex marriages.

Gay marriage is now legal in the District of Columbia and six states, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.

Smith says spouses of service members should not be barred from receiving benefits because they are in same-sex marriages.

Gays now serve openly in the military.