Federal Elections Commission Lets Gay Couples Donate Together

BTL Staff
By | 2013-08-08T09:00:00-04:00 August 8th, 2013|Michigan, News|

Same-sex couples who are legally married can now give money to political campaigns at the same rates heterosexual couples can, thanks to a new decision by the Federal Elections Commission. Just one of several inequalities being addressed at various governmental agencies, this decision comes after the United States Supreme Court ruled part of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.
In April, the FEC issued an opinion that same-sex couples did not have this right, but this new opinion grants it.
FEC Chairperson Ellen Weintraub penned two opinions on the matter stating, “The Commission concludes same-sex couples married under state law are ‘spouses’ for the purpose of Commission regulations.”
Two requests had come before the FEC, one from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the other from a Republican Senate candidate who lost in Massachusetts earlier this year. The Republican, Dan Winslow, is raising money to pay off his campaign debt and Log Cabin Republicans in the state want to be able to help him do so.
Under FEC regulations, individuals are able to donate up to $5,200 to a campaign. Couples can give up to $10,400. The sticking point is in married couples the money may actually come from one spouse. An individual cannot have their name used as the donor if the money did not come directly from them. But in couples with joint bank accounts, it does not matter who earned the money originally.
The new FEC ruling only affects legally-married same-sex couples. Massachusetts is one of 13 states that allow gay marriage, as does the District of Columbia. Michigan does not.
The decision can be found online at http://www.fec.gov/agenda/2013/mtgdoc_13-27.pdf

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BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 25th anniversary.