What impact does the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act have on the NURSE Corps?
Any reference in the NURSE Corps’ statute, regulations, or policy to “spouse,” “couple,” or “marriage,” as well as any reference to “family,” or “family member” now includes same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages. This applies regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage or a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriage. For example, if a couple got married in D.C. (where same-sex marriage is legal) but they live in Virginia (a state which does not recognize same-sex marriage), the NHSC will treat the couple the same as it would any married opposite-sex couple. Any same-sex marriage legally entered into or recognized in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, a U.S. territory or a foreign country will be recognized.
In addition, the NURSE Corps will continue to follow the longstanding policy to include unmarried partners (both same-sex and opposite-sex) as “family members.”