Washington Rep. Adam Smith, a Democrat,
on Thursday reintroduced a bill which seeks to provide equal benefits
to gay service members.
The Military Spouses Equal Treatment
Act of 2013 (MSET) would change the definition of “spouse” in
four key areas of U.S. code related to recognition, support and
benefits for married service members and veterans.
Allyson Robinson, executive director of
OutServe-SLDN, thanked Smith, a ranking member of the House Armed
Services Committee, for reintroducing the measure.
“Since the repeal of 'Don't Ask,
Don't Tell' there have been two classes of service members in this
country – one that receives the nation's full recognition, support
and benefits and one that does not,” Robinson said in a statement.
“By making an arbitrary distinction between gay and lesbian troops
and their straight comrades, and forcing commanders to play
favorites, the law as it stands harms all service members and weakens
the force. This legislation fixes that problem.”
OutServe-SLDN said that the legislation
was needed even if the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) were to be
struck down or repealed because “they address entirely separate
laws governing support and benefits for military members and
On Tuesday, President
Barack Obama called for equal benefits for gay troops in his State of
the Union address. However, the president did not endorse any