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Shaheen reintroduces bill to extend veterans benefits to same-sex couples


CONCORD, New Hampshire — U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has reintroduced legislation to extend veterans benefits to same-sex couples and their families regardless of where they live.

The Charlie Morgan Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act is named after a New Hampshire National Guard officer who died in 2013 after a battle with breast cancer. After her death, Morgan's wife and daughter initially were ineligible to receive certain survivor benefits until the Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional.

Families in states where same-sex marriages are not recognized remain ineligible for certain Department of Veterans Affairs benefits, however. Shaheen, a Democrat elected to a second term in November, says her legislation would address this lingering inequality. She says no one who has served in uniform should be denied the benefits they've earned.

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