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Udall Introduces Proposal to Ensure VA Ends Discrimination of Lawfully Married Same-Sex Couples

Amendment Follows Udall's Recent Work to Press Attorney General, VA to Respect All Lawful Marriages

Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mark Udall, who serves on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, introduced a common-sense proposal today to end the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' discrimination of lawfully married same-sex couples. Udall's proposal, which he proposed along with U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), would end the federal government's discriminatory treatment of same-sex couples and bring federal law fully into alignment with the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.

"Despite the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision to strike down the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, legally married veterans and their families are still being cut off from the benefits they earned through their service to our nation," Udall said. "This amendment, which I am proud to support, will ensure that our veterans receive the benefits they have earned regardless of whom they love or in which state they were legally married."

Udall has led efforts in Congress to end discriminatory practices that prevent lawfully married veterans from receiving the benefits they have earned in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. He led a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice in January urging it to fully enforce the court's decision. Udall also was the first lawmaker to call out the VA's discriminatory policies last year after it harmed a Colorado couple.

Udall has been a vocal advocate of striking down misguided laws that discriminate against committed, married gay couples on both the state and federal level. Udall helped pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act last year, which would bar employers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. He also led the successful effort to repeal the harmful and discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

By: Mike Saccone
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