Lead Democrat on Veterans’ Affairs Committee Cosponsors Titus’ Veteran Spouses Equal Treatment Act

Nov 20, 2013
Press Release

November 20, 2013

Washington, D.C. – Today Congresswoman Dina Titus of Nevada’s First District announced Congressman Michael Michaud, Ranking Member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, as a cosponsor to the Veteran Spouses Equal Treatment Act, introduced in June by Titus and Congressman Adam Smith, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee.  Earlier this year the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, effectively extending thousands of federal benefits to same-sex couples, including those provided by the VA. Unfortunately, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ definition of the term “spouse”, in the United States Code, is limited to individuals of the opposite sex. Titus’ bill, H.R. 2529, would amend that definition to ensure equal treatment for same-sex spouses thereby aligning the VA with the nation’s laws.  
 
“For far too long, DOMA denied legally married, same-sex couples access to federal benefits, including those provided by the VA. But this summer the Supreme Court sent a clear message that all Americans, gay or straight, must be afforded equal protection under the law,” said Titus. “The Veteran Spouses Equal Treatment Act would align the VA with our nation’s laws and extend benefits to thousands of deserving military spouses. I’m proud to defend all those who have bravely served in our Armed Forces, as well as their families, and am pleased to have Congressman Michaud join me as the newest cosponsor of the Veteran Spouses Equal Treatment Act. We look forward to moving this important piece of legislation through the committee process to ensure that all veterans and their families receive the benefits they have earned.”