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United States Office of Government Ethics, Preventing Conflicts of Interest in the Executive Branch

OGE Issues Guidance on the Effect of the Supreme Court’s Decision Striking Section 3 of DOMA
August 19, 2013

In light of the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) is today issuing guidance regarding the effect of the decision on the Executive Branch ethics program. Based on this decision, OGE now interprets the terms “marriage,” “spouse” and “relative” to include same-sex marriages and same-sex spouses where those terms appear in federal ethics provisions, regardless of the employee’s state of residency.

The guidance clarifies that the Federal ethics rules will now apply to federal employees in same-sex marriages. For example, the financial interests of a federal employee’s same-sex spouse are now potential conflicts of interest for that employee. In addition, all federal employees, including those in same-sex marriages, are required to disclose their spouses’ financial information in financial disclosure reports.

For more information, please see Legal Advisory LA-13-10, dated August 19, 2013.

Link to PDF of Legal Advisory

Posted on August 19, 2013