Gay Couples Denied Veterans Benefits

    SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 16:  Military personel march down University Avenue during the San Diego gay pride parade July 16, 2011 in San Diego, California. About 200 active-duty troops and veterans from every branch of the military participated for the first time in the march as the ban on the government policy on homosexuals serving in armed forces, or "Don't ask Don't Tell", remains in flux in the justice system  (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

    Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images

    The Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act months ago, but the ruling didn’t remove every roadblock that same-sex couples face. Gay married couples are still being denied veterans benefits, writes Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki in a letter to Congress dated August 14. Shinseki says certain provisions in Title 38, U.S. Code, define “spouse” as a person of the opposite sex. “Under these provisions, a same-sex marriage recognized by a State would not confer spousal status for purposes of eligibility of VA benefits,” he writes. Unlike DOMA, a court has yet to deem the Title 38 definitions to be unconstitutional.

    Read it at Washington Blade