H. R. 2421
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
May 11, 2017
Ms. Titus (for herself, Mr. Cartwright, Mr. Curbelo of Florida, Ms. DelBene, Mr. Grijalva, Ms. Kelly of Illinois, Mr. Lowenthal, Ms. Norton, Mr. O'Rourke, Ms. Slaughter, Mr. Takano, Mr. Walz, Mr. Swalwell of California, Mr. Rush, Ms. Tsongas, Ms. Clark of Massachusetts, Ms. Pingree, Mr. Coffman, Mrs. Lowey, Mr. Perlmutter, and Mr. Peters) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs
To amend title 38, United States Code, to amend the definition of the term
spouse to recognize new State definitions of such term for the purpose of the laws administered by the
Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Veteran Spouses Equal Treatment Act.
Definition of spouse for purposes of veteran benefits to reflect new State definitions of spouse
Section 101 of title 38, United States Code, is amended—
in paragraph (3), by striking
of the opposite sex; and
in paragraph (31), by striking
of the opposite sex who is a wife or husband and inserting
in a marriage recognized under section 103 of this title.
Subsection (c) of section 103 of such title is amended to read as follows:
For the purposes of all laws administered by the Secretary, the Secretary shall recognize a marriage based on the law of the State where the marriage occurred. In the case of a marriage that occurred outside a State, the Secretary shall recognize the marriage if the marriage was lawful in the place where it occurred and could have been entered into under the laws of any State. Except in the case of a purported marriage deemed valid under subsection (a), the Secretary may not recognize more than one marriage for any person at the same time.
In this subsection, the term State has the meaning given that the term in section 101(20) of this title, except that such term also includes the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.