Gay Couples Denied Veterans Benefits

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.