The so-called “pro-family” “pro-military” wing of the U.S. Senate Thursday afternoon killed a bill that would have helped thousands of veterans and their families.
Take a stroll through the Facebook page of the U.S. Senate Republicans and you’ll see a swarm of patriotic posts promising no one supports America’s veterans and service members like the GOP.
Here’s a sampling:
So imagine my surprise when this afternoon Senate Republicans killed a bill that would have extended some federal veterans benefits to married same-sex couples and their children who live in states that do not recognize their legal marriages.
Apparently, the Senate Republicans only care about heterosexual veteran and service members.
Currently, for most purposes, the federal government recognizes all same-sex marriages based on the state in which the couple were legally married, as opposed to the state in which they reside. So, if a same-sex couple marries in New York but moves to Texas, their marriage for federal purposes is recognized.
Unless on or both members of that couple are in the military or might be entitled to veterans’ benefits, thanks to an outdated federal law.
Democratic U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today tried to pass an amendment to the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act that merely would have changed federal law to be consistent across the board and recognize all same-sex marriage at the “place of celebration” instead of where the couple resides.
Jennifer Bendery at the Huffington Post reports Shaheen’s “amendment failed 53-42, seven votes shy of the 60 votes needed to pass. None of the Senate Republicans running for president voted for it. Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Ted Cruz (Texas) opposed it, while Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) did not vote.”
All Democrats that voted voted for the bill. Eight Republican Senators, according to Roll Call, “joined Democrats: Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mark S. Kirk of Illinois, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Rob Portman of Ohio.”
“Veterans served their country bravely, and yet some are deprived of the very rights they risked their lives to protect,” Sen. Shaheen told Bendery in an email. “The impact of this discrimination is real. Monthly benefits are less; spouses and children are not eligible for medical care at the VA; and families are not eligible for the same death benefits.”Click here for reuse options!
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