Same-sex couples' campaign cash will be treated equally
July 25th, 2013
03:25 PM ET
12 months ago

Same-sex couples' campaign cash will be treated equally

(CNN) – Campaign donations from married same-sex couples will fall under the same rules as those from heterosexual pairs, the federal board that regulates elections ruled Thursday.

The 5-0 Federal Election Commission decision came after last month's Supreme Court ruling that struck down key portions of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman. Before it was deemed unconstitutional, the measure prevented the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.

"The Commission concludes same-sex couples married under state law are 'spouses' for the purpose of Commission regulations," FEC chairwoman Ellen Weintraub wrote in the advisory opinion that was approved Thursday.

Gay and lesbian couples who are married will now fall under rules that allow spouses to jointly contribute $10,400 to primary and general election candidates, even if one of the partners doesn't make an income.

A second rule change will allow same-sex couples who are married to use funds from joint bank accounts to help fund their own political campaigns.

Federal agencies are currently reviewing their policies to ensure they comply with the court's decision on same-sex marriage. In early July, the Department of Homeland Security said U.S. immigration officers would begin reviewing visa applications for same-sex spouses of American citizens.

And the Office of Personnel Management sent a memorandum to various federal agencies shortly after the ruling informing them that same-sex spouses are now eligible for health insurance, life insurance and retirement coverage. The children of such couples also will be able to participate in many of the programs.

The FEC's decision came after requests from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Massachusetts state Rep. Dan Winslow, who asked the commission to clarify their rules for same-sex couples. Originally, the election board said in April that while DOMA remained in effect, they were barred from treating married same-sex couples the same as heterosexual couples.

After the court's ruling, the groups renewed their requests.

"We are incredibly pleased that the FEC agreed with our request and voted unanimously to allow gay couples who marry the same rights and responsibilities in the electoral process as straight couples," DSCC executive director Guy Cecil said Thursday. "While this victory was a long time coming, it's proof that with hard work our grassroots supporters can achieve victories outside of the ballot box, as well as on election day, that make our country a more fair and just place to live."


Filed under: FEC • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Isn't amazing how much the right wing blames Pres. Obama for rulings made by the SCOTUS?

    July 25, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. Data Driven

    1 couple with x dollars equals another couple with same amount of x dollars.

    We're making progress.

    July 25, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Oh no!!!! Not equal treatment!!!!! Someone get out the fainting couch and grab me some pearls to clutch!!!!!!

    July 25, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  4. Dean

    Not a true family unit.

    July 25, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. rs

    Republicans are the only creatures who feel "equal treatment" equates "special treatment" when they don't like it or don't get it.

    July 25, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    Dominican mama 4 Obama
    Correct Lynda!!
    "I must admit that the moderators are moderating their behinds off on this story. I can't tell you how many posts I've tried to post to no avail.
    They do indeed control the "vertical and the horizontal" don't they Lynda?"

    Sadly, I'm going to have to give you a great big INDEED. My earlier comment(s) to Rudy ended up so garbled that even I have a hard time deciding just what it is I said, or wanted to say. It happened a few days ago as well. If I remember correctly, my comment ended up as "we came through intact". You caught that, and I chuckled at your response. I meant, we came through the "emotional roller coaster" intact. I think you understood what I was getting at, anyway.

    July 25, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. Silence DoGood

    @ Dean "Not a true family unit."

    To which I reply "they are a true family unit". And that is what makes living in a country with freedom of religion so cool.

    July 25, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    I'm just observing today. A whole bunch of reporting about nothing.#1stpostofday

    July 25, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |