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U.S. FEDERAL LAWS
AFFECTING MARRIED COUPLES

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Source: Washington Blade 1997-FEB-21

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Lou Chibbaro, Jr., of the General Accounting Office of the Federal Government reports that at least 1049 federal laws provide benefits, rights and privileges to married couples. A report listing all 1049 statutes by name and code number was commissioned in order to determine the implications of the Defense of Marriage Act which prohibits the Federal Government from recognizing gay and lesbian relationships.

The report was requested by Representative Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), chairperson of the House Judiciary Committee in 1996-SEP at the urging of former Representative Steve Gunderson (R-Wis.)

Hyde has also requested a "survey of how other governmental units may have defined non-marital domestic partnerships, and report on how states define and determine when a relationship becomes a common law marriage.". This study may be published at a later date.

The laws are categorized into 14 groups:

bullet Social Security and related programs,
bullet housing, and Food Stamps;
bullet veterans benefits;
bullet taxation;
bullet federal civilian and military service benefits;
bullet employment benefits and related laws;
bullet immigration, naturalization, and aliens;
bullet Indians;
bullet trade, commerce, and intellectual property;
bullet financial disclosure and conflict of interest;
bullet crimes and family violence;
bullet loans, guarantees, and payments in agriculture;
bullet federal natural resources and related laws;
bullet miscellaneous laws.

Single copies of the report, GAO/OGC-97-16, are available free of charge and may be ordered by calling (202) 512-6000. The report may be accessed on the Internet through the GAO's Web site at http://www.gao.gov

 

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