New Bill Extends Marriage Rights To Gay And Lesbian Servicemembers

DADTMarriageThe team at Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and other concerned citizens are celebrating the introduction of a House bill that will guarantee military men and women's same-sex spouses the same rights as their straight counterparts.

From the bill:

…An individual shall be considered a 'spouse' if the marriage of the individual is valid in the State in which the marriage was entered into or, in the case of a marriage entered into outside any State, if the marriage is valid in the place in which the marriage was entered into and the marriage could have been entered into in a State.

Remarking on the bill, which Democratic Rep. Adam Smith of Washington State unveiled yesterday, SLDN executive director Aubrey Sarvis said, "[House Armed Services Committee] Ranking Member Smith has recognized with the introduction of this legislation today that 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal – while a monumental achievement for gay and lesbian service members and all Americans – does not finish the job of ensuring full equality for these brave patriots and their families."


  1. say what says

    theo was posting as breaking news

    3 minutes pre Andy posting his thread 😛

    should have known andy had it in hand = 3 minutes his thread popped up after I posted

  2. Lymis says

    This is great, and right, and necessary.

    It also conflicts with DOMA, and I don’t see how it can stand.

    A lawyer would have to say whether passing this would add more fuel to getting DOMA declared null, at least DOMA section 3.

    And it would be interesting to see how it would play out when servicemembers are assigned to duty stations in states where their marriage is unrecognized by law or amendment. Can the government force a civilian contractor to honor a marriage that isn’t recognized by the state that they operate in?

  3. Steve says

    The bill specifically mentions DOMA. It amends existing laws defining the term “spouse” for military and veteran purposes, starting basically with “Notwithstanding DOMA…”. So legally it’s fine.

    Of course it will never go anywhere

  4. Icebloo says

    This is a common sense law that would bring the US in line with other countries like the UK unfortunately the evil Republicans will stop it.
    This is yet another issue where all you gays who think you are Republicans have shot your own people ! Judas gays voting Republican are holding our community back & keeping us as second class, higher tax-paying citizens ! It’s not just the heterosexual Republicans who hate gay people, it’s also the gays who are supporting the Republicans.

  5. bandanajack says

    there’s an interesting footnote to this if they can force a roll call vote. the military by and large are kneejerk conservatives, but they are also fiercely loyal to their fellow troops. the conflict between fair treatment of military spouses and families, gay or straight is already rankling units with out members and other fair minded individuals. and the numbers of out service members is increasing exponentially as the relative non event continues to be just that.

    i have long believed that the end of DADT surely spelled the end of DOMA for this very reason.

  6. bandanajack says

    amending my last post, if the republicans appear to be voting against the interests of the troops and their families, gay or not, it will not sit well with other wise loyal conservative military families.

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