This bill was reintroduced by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) as S.270 on January 27, 2015.


This bill redefines “surviving spouse” to include all legally married spouses at the time of a veteran’s death rather than only opposite-sex spouses for the purposes of veterans benefits provisions. This new definition includes all legally married same-sex couples regardless of place of residence. 

PFLAG Talking Points

  • LGBTQ people should not face the added burden of not receiving veterans benefits upon the death of their same-sex military spouse. This bill dispels one of the many worries same-sex military couples face.
  • LGBTQ servicemembers and their families deserve the full extent of benefits for their service. This bill ensures an LGBTQ servicemember’s service is just as valuable as a non-LGBTQ servicemembers.
  • All legal same-sex marriages should be recognized regardless of state of residence. This bill does not define “surviving spouse” based on state of residence, including all legally married same-sex couples.