August 21, 2013 •
Regardless of An Employee’s State of Residency, U.S. OGE Now Interprets “Spouse” to Include Same-Sex Spouse
On August 19, 2013, the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) issued a Legal Advisory to Designated Agency Ethics Officials stating it “now interprets the terms ‘marriage’ and ‘spouse’ to include a same-sex marriage and a same-sex spouse where those terms appear in federal ethics provisions, regardless of the employee’s state of residency.”
The OGE will also interpret the term “relative” to include same-sex spouses.
The directive was created as a result of United States v. Windsor, a U.S. Supreme Court decision made earlier this summer striking down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional. The OGE consulted with the U.S. Department of Justice before making the Legal Advisory, which took effect on the date of the directive, August 19, 2013.
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