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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jan 3, 2017.
Amend the Code for Marriage Equality Act of 2017
This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), the Social Security Act (SSAct), and other federal laws (including provisions concerning workers' compensation, retirement benefits, disability and death benefits, insurance, inheritances, or immigration) to replace: (1) references to "wife" or "husband" with references to "spouse"; and (2) references to "husband and wife" or "husband or wife" with references to "married couple" or " married person."
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.
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.
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, provisions concerning the amount of leave available to a husband and wife employed by the same employer are revised to apply to a married couple employed by the same employer.
Requirements under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 that make disability and death benefits payable to the wife or widow of a miner are revised to make the benefits payable to the spouse or surviving spouse of a miner.
IRC provisions that require a divorced wife's gross income to include the income of any trust she is entitled to receive that would otherwise be includible in the gross income of her husband, or vice versa, are revised to apply to the gross income of individuals who are divorced from their spouse.
The bill revises title II (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) of the SSAct to consolidate separate provisions for a wife's insurance benefits and a husband's insurance benefits into a single standard for a spouse's insurance benefits.
Criminal penalties that currently apply to persons who threaten to kill, kidnap, or inflict bodily harm upon a former President's wife or widow are revised to apply to threats made to a former President's spouse or surviving spouse.