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 July 18, 2023

Words 'wife' and 'husband' removed from federal law under Dem House bill

A new bill proposed by House Democrats would remove the words "husband" and "spouse" from federal law.

The proposal suggests replacing the terms with the generic term "spouse" to include same-sex relationships.

The change

"Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex couples have the right to marry, there are many instances where the U.S. Code does not respect that constitutional right," Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA) said in a statement.

"Now more than ever, with an extreme Supreme Court and state legislatures rolling back the rights of the LGBTQ community, it is imperative that Congress showcases its commitment to supporting equality," she continued.

"This common-sense bill will ensure that our federal code reflects the equality of all marriages by recognizing and acting upon the notion that the words in our laws have meaning and our values as a country are reflected in our laws," she added.

The background

"The proposed legislation, known as the “Amend the Code for Marriage Equality Act”, aims to ensure that all marriages, regardless of the gender of the partners, are equally recognized and respected under federal law," Trending Politics News wrote.

"The bill comes several years after the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which affirmed the right of same-sex couples to marry. Brownley’s bill aims to revise this by striking the use of gendered terms throughout the federal code," it added.

The details

"For purposes of federal laws or regulations, marriage is defined as a legal union between two people as spouses. The bill eliminates a definition of spouse that refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife," the bill's summary explains.

"Requirements concerning compensation to a surviving wife after the disability or death of a person employed at a military, air, or naval base outside the United States are revised to make surviving spouses eligible for such compensation," it continues.

The bill has been proposed in the past but not passed in Congress.

The controversy surrounding the bill may take on a different approach as candidates seek to address the issue ahead of the 2024 elections.

Written By:
Dillon Burroughs

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