U.S. to Provide Veterans’ Benefits to Gay Married Couples

Rendered Rainbow FlagDecision Is Latest Step in Federal Government’s Rewriting of Rules After Supreme Court Ruling Striking Down DOMA

 

By Devlin Barrett

 

WASHINGTON—The Obama administration will provide veterans’ benefits to married same-sex couples, another step by the federal government toward treating gay couples in the same way as their heterosexual counterparts after a landmark Supreme Court ruling.

The decision, announced Wednesday in a letter to Congress by Attorney General Eric Holder, tackles one of the thorny legal issues resulting from the high court’s ruling in June striking down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

After the ruling, the Obama administration began analyzing hundreds of laws and regulations to ensure married gay couples receive treatment equal to that of heterosexual couples when it comes to federal taxes, benefits and immigration rights.

In some areas, the government is able to change regulations without congressional approval. But the federal law on veterans’ benefits, such as health care and survivor payments, defines marriage as between people of opposite sex.

President Barack Obama can’t change the veterans law by himself—that would require action by Congress—but Mr. Holder notified senior lawmakers Wednesday that the administration would no longer enforce that particular section. That will allow same-sex marriages in which one or both members are military veterans to qualify for benefits that heterosexual veterans and their spouses currently receive. The rule change will be implemented as soon as practical, officials said.

“In these unique circumstances, continued enforcement…is no longer appropriate,” Mr. Holder wrote in the letter.

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Posted by on September 4, 2013, With 711 Reads Filed under Veterans Administration (VA). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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4 Responses to "U.S. to Provide Veterans’ Benefits to Gay Married Couples"

  1. Kenny Hansen  September 5, 2013 at 1:52 am

    First we are told no changes if Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is repealed, then they ok gay marriage, and now giving gays beneifits… I am glad I am at the end the tail end of my military career… its time to move on….Morals and values have been compromised…

    • Dale R. Suiter  September 9, 2013 at 6:07 pm

      Welcome to the retired list. I too believe morals and values have been compromised. I could not exist as an officer in the military in Obama’s world. He has destroyed what was once an honored profession. Ture, weak minded people did a lot of preperation destroying our military, he has, however created new nightmares in trying to run a military organization. Lawyers approving op plans, no way to try and fight a war. Women in combat arms, absurd, stupid and dangerous. Gay position, the end of a fine military. I know, I know, old guys like me are not part of the new ameri ka.
      I wish you well
      Dale R. Suiter

  2. Grampah  September 4, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Simply part of the agenda to weaken traditional marriage, reduce population and make more dependent on benefits, charity and soup line handouts. Spreading the usage of the “politically correct” term “significant other” was also slow genocide.

  3. Excalibur  September 4, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I suppose Obama wants to know their bottom price.

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