State Comptroller Wants the Term 'Same Sex Spouses' Added in Federal Benefits and Programs

Jul 19, 2013

The Defense of Marriage Act was recently overturned. Now, New York State’s Comptroller is calling for more transparency for equal federal benefits for Same Sex Spouses.  Tom Dinapoli is urging President Obama to change a provision in the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

Credit NPR file photo.

The provision outlines specific protections for spouses to receive benefits.  He wants all legally performed marriages to be recognized in all 50 states.  The Comptroller requests the term “same-sex spouse” is added.  In essence, it would require all federal agencies and programs under the President’s control to recognize all valid same-sex marriages, regardless of the current address.  Dinapoli’s request comes after he says some companies have argued that the federal act allows for what he calls an egregious example of discrimination.  He explains the changes are necessary since section three of the Defense of Marriage Act recently has been found unconstitutional.