Defense of Marriage Act

OGC-97-16: Jan 31, 1997

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO identified federal laws in which benefits, rights, and privileges are contingent on marital status.

GAO found that: (1) it conducted searches for various words or word stems chosen to elicit marital status, in several electronic databases that contain the text of federal laws; (2) this collection of laws is as complete and representative as can be produced by a global electronic search of the kind GAO conducted; (3) its data include only laws classified to the United States Code; and (4) no conclusions can be drawn from its identification of a law as one in which marital status is a factor, concerning the effect of the law on married people versus single people.