Just one day after House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith’s reintroduction of the Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act (MSET), the legislation has received support from several organizations and 43 Members of Congress.  Additionally, today Senator Jeanne Shaheen (NH) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) introduced a companion bill in the Senate, the Charlie Morgan Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act.  Below are statements of support for MSET.  

Allyson Robinson, executive director of Outserve-SLDN:
“Treating service members equally, without partiality or favoritism, is one of the most basic principles of sound military leadership... Today, we thank Congressman Smith for taking this crucial step to strengthen our military, and we urge his colleagues in both parties and in both houses of Congress to join him and us in this important fight.” Link to Statement

Human Rights Campaign Legislative Director Allison Herwitt:
“Gay and lesbian service members and their families make sacrifices every day.  We owe them the same measure of support that other service members receive.  We commend Congressman Adam Smith for his leadership to address this inequity in federal law.” Link to Blog
Fact Sheet

Lawrence J. Korb, Senior Fellow for the Center for American Progress:
“The Defense of Marriage Act harms our military families and compromises our military readiness. Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made clear that there is no room for discrimination in the ranks when he extended a number of benefits to same-sex military spouses earlier this week, and now members of Congress like Rep. Smith and Sens. Gillibrand and Shaheen are adding their voices to the fight for full equality in our country’s armed forces. This is an issue of fairness but—just as importantly—it is an issue of military readiness and it must be addressed promptly.” Link to Statement

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (NH):
“All service members deserve complete recognition  for their service and sacrifice, and that means benefits for them and their loved ones. Right now we don’t have equality in service for LGBT individuals, and I am committed to doing everything to fix that. We’ve made progress, but we’re not done yet and the Charlie Morgan Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act is a needed fix to getting all military families the benefits they have earned.”

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY):
“This legislation is an important step forward in achieving full equality for all of our men and women serving and fighting for our nation.  Same-sex partners of military servicemembers should not be denied essential benefits because of who they are. We must ensure that all of our military families who have sacrificed so much have access to the services and treatment they need and deserve.”

Representative Gwen Moore (WI-4):
“As those in the military fight for justice and equality, it is egregious that those they love are denied benefits that they should be entitled to. If a state has recognized marriage for all, then our military should not stand in the way.”

Representative John Garamendi (CA-3):
“Gay and lesbian military personnel serve with equal valor and distinction, and their spouses deserve equal benefits and protections… It’s really that simple. I’m proud to cosponsor Ranking Member Smith’s Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act, and we owe it to our brave men and women in uniform and their families to give this the up or down vote it deserves.”

Representative Mark Pocan (WI-2):
“Supporting our servicemen and women and our veterans also means supporting their spouses and families, whose sacrifices often go unseen and unrecognized. This support should not be contingent on whether a member of our military is gay or straight” Link to Statement

Representative Jim McDermott (WA-7):
“Military spouses take the same risks, pass the same sleepless nights, and give the same critical support, no matter their gender. The least we can do is give their families the dignity and respect of equal benefits.”

Representative Colleen Hanabusa (HI-1):
”We owe every member of our armed forces a tremendous debt for their service, sacrifice, and bravery.  Our commitment to honoring them as outstanding Americans must include recognizing their spouses and families—regardless of sexual orientation.” Link to Statement

Representative Annie Kuster (NH-2):
“Every soldier, sailor, airman, and marine deserves to know that the American people will always support their families, no matter who they love.”

Representative Adam Schiff (CA-28):
“This important legislation would make sure that all service members and their spouses receive the same opportunities, benefits and services. All spouses in the military – regardless of orientation – put up with tremendous hardships, and it’s time we recognize their contribution and sacrifice with true equality.”

Representative Denny Heck (WA-10):
“All families serving at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and all veterans living in the South Puget Sound deserve equal protection under the law. I'm proud to be a co-sponsor of the Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act.”

On February 14, 2013, Congressman Adam Smith reintroduced the Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act (MSET), a bill that would ensure equal benefits for all military spouses and equal standing for all military families. By changing the definition of “spouse” in the relevant sections of the U.S. code, MSET would require the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs to recognize any marriage that has been recognized by a state or the District of Columbia, and provide equal benefits to all spouses.