Uniform Policy

Senate Committee Passes Bill To Recognize Military Veteran’s Spouses

The ripples from the Supreme Court DOMA ruling keep spreading. The latest: the Senate Veteran Affairs Committee has approved a bill that would make same-sex spouses of veterans eligible for full military benefits. The bill, the Charlie Morgan Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act of 2013, ensures that the military’s policy recognizes same-sex marriages.

The bill is named for Charlie Morgan, a New Hampshire National Guard chief warrant officer, who died of breast cancer earlier this year. Morgan was survived by her wife Karen and daughter Casey Elena. Because the federal government did not recognize Morgan’s marriage, her widow is not entitled to military benefits.

“Charlie served on the front lines for our country, but because of her sexual orientation her family has been wrongfully being denied many of the same benefits given to those who stood beside her,”  said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D.-N.H.), who introduced the measure.

Unfortunately, that may be the end of the measure. The bill goes to the full Senate where it may or may not get a vote. Should the bill make it out of the Senate, which is a big if, it still would have virtually no chance in the GOP-controlled House. Conservative Republicans, whose primary political agenda is to repeal the 21st century, are not about to ratify the Supreme Court decision and recognize marriage equality.