Sunday, Dec 08, 2019
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 37 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website




 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 6 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 36
'The right thing to do' - Obama allows same-sex spouses to collect veterans' benefits
Section One
ALL STORIES
  next story
'The right thing to do' - Obama allows same-sex spouses to collect veterans' benefits

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

When 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' saw its final days, many thought discrimination would fall with it. But if you were paying attention, you knew that was not the case - instead, a whole new set of 'hidden' rules would emerge. Yes, if you were LGB (still no T), you could now serve openly and without the fear of harm, promotion discrimination, and so on. But the spouses of legally wed same-sex service men and women would not be allowed to receive the same benefits that their heterosexual counterparts could. All that has changed, says the White House.

Spouses of veterans in same-sex marriages will be able to collect federal benefits, the Obama administration announced September 2 in a move following the Supreme Court decision that struck down a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act in June.

President Obama directed the executive branch to stop enforcing two provisions that restricted the U.S. from awarding spousal benefits to veterans in legal Gay marriages. The provisions define 'spouse' as a 'person of the opposite sex,' Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. wrote Wednesday in a letter to Congress, adding that the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor 'strongly supports the conclusion that those provisions are unconstitutional under the 5th Amendment.'

The Obama administration has made a series of policy decisions since the Windsor decision to extend federal benefits to legally married Gay couples. Wednesday's announcement went further in that it declared unconstitutional and therefore invalid an existing statute that was not considered by the Supreme Court.

'WELCOME DEVELOPMENT'
'The continued unwinding of discrimination against legally married couples in the aftermath of the Windsor decision is a welcome development,' James Esseks, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & AIDS Project, said in a statement. 'The federal government is right to ensure that legally married couples, where a spouse has served valiantly in the military, are treated equally.'

Spouses of veterans in same-sex marriages that are recognized under state law can now receive the federal benefits. Thirteen states (now including California) and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage.

The Supreme Court's decision in the Windsor case overturned a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act that prevented the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages for various purposes.

Last week, the Internal Revenue Service announced that couples in same-sex marriages could file federal taxes jointly. The Office of Personnel Management has allowed same-sex spouses of federal employees to receive insurance benefits regardless of where they live. And in regard to immigration law, same-sex marriages are now treated the same as opposite-sex marriages.

NEW COURT RULING
The provision in veterans' law defining a spouse as a member of the opposite sex was declared unconstitutional last week by U.S. District Judge Consuelo B. Marshall in Los Angeles.

In Washington state, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, a champion for LGBT rights and the rights of all veterans and their spouses, said, 'This long-awaited move by the Obama administration is a major step towards finally ensuring each of our heroes and their spouses receive the same quality care and services once they leave the military - no matter who they love. And after pressing [Veterans Affairs] Secretary [Eric] Shinseki to expedite the process for dignified, same-sex burials in our national cemeteries, I am thrilled yesterday's news will no longer force veterans to face uncertainty when mourning the loss of their spouse. Our veterans and their families, who selflessly served our nation and have given so much, will finally be afforded the benefits they have so rightly earned. This is not only a matter of fairness and equality; it is simply the right thing to do.'

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Murray endorsed by primary rival - Bruce Harrell praises senator's 'commitment to social justice'
------------------------------
Love always wins! - Activists join to protest Russian consul in Seattle
------------------------------
Republicans sue to block NM marriage equality - Eight counties now issue licenses to same-sex couples
------------------------------
The road to the Hall of Fame - Making the case for print media at the NLGJA
------------------------------
GSBA to host major candidate forum - Sept. 11 event features Seattle mayoral, City Council hopefuls
------------------------------
Nation's oldest LGBT bookstore facing likely closure
------------------------------
'The right thing to do' - Obama allows same-sex spouses to collect veterans' benefits
------------------------------
Three states' National Guards deny same-sex benefits
------------------------------
NGLTF appoints new Transgender project head
------------------------------
Marriage suits go forward in three more states
------------------------------
Keeping us connected - Time Warner funds study of LGBT community's broadband needs
------------------------------
Don't move to Oman just yet: Omani newspaper apologizes for calling the country pro-Gay
------------------------------
Thunder down under - Marriage equality an issue in Australian election
------------------------------
Canadian HIV vaccine passes Phase I trial
------------------------------
Gay Softball World Series
------------------------------

------------------------------
BREAKING NEWS
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1605 12 Ave., Ste. 31
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2012

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News