AO 2013-06 – Provisions Apply Equally to Same-Sex Spouses
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) may follow the same FEC regulations for legally married same-sex couples as it follows for spouses in an opposite-sex marriage. Specifically, the Commission concluded that:
The DSCC wanted to know if it could attribute a contribution as being from each member of a legally married same-sex couple even if the money originated from the income of just one of the spouses. Secondly, it asked whether a Senate candidate who is legally married to a same-sex spouse may utilize joint assets under the same provisions as a Senate candidate who is married to an opposite-sex spouse. Finally, it asked if DSCC representatives may appear at restricted class events at which legally married same-sex spouses are present as family members of corporate/labor executive and administrative employees, stockholders and members.
Commission regulations allow campaigns and other federal committees to accept “contributions made by each spouse even if only one spouse has income.” 11 CFR 110.1(i). Thus, a spouse with no separate income may make a contribution in his or her own name through the checking account of the other spouse. AO 1980-11 (Phillips). DSCC may apply the spouse contribution rule at 11 CFR 110.1(i) to contributions from same-sex couples married under state law.
Similarly, a Senate candidate who is legally married to a same-sex spouse may utilize “jointly owned assets” under 11 CFR 100.33(c) and 100.52(b)(4) under the same conditions as a Senate candidate who is married to an opposite-sex spouse.
Finally, DSCC representatives may appear at restricted-class events, pursuant to 11 CFR 114.3(c)(2), at which legally married same-sex spouses are present as “families” of restricted class members under 11 CFR 114.1(j).
Date Issued: July 25, 2013; 6 pages.
(Posted 8/1/13; By: Alex Knott)
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