February 22, 2013
Susan Davis Cosponsors Military Spouses Equal Treatment
WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Susan Davis (CA-53) joined more than 40 of her colleagues and the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09), in introducing legislation to provide equal benefits to military spouses.
“In so many cases, spouses are unsung heroes providing a level of support to service members unlike any other,” said Davis, Ranking Member of the Military Personnel Subcommittee. “They deserve equal treatment when it comes to access to benefits available to spouses currently recognized under the law.”
The Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act would provide equal treatment by changing the definition of “spouse.” Under the change, the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs would be required to recognize any marriage that has been recognized by a state or the District of Columbia and provide the same benefits to the spouses of all service members.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta recently announced that some benefits would be extended to the same-sex partners of servicemembers. The Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs however remain limited regarding what benefits they can provide to same-sex spouses without changes to the law. Some of those benefits include medical and dental care, survivor benefits, cost of living allowances, and protection under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.