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Push underway in Congress to make language in federal law gender-neutral

Randol White, KCBX News

In light of the recent marriage equality ruling by the US Supreme Court, a Central Coast lawmaker wants to strike gendered terms from the federal code. 

The bill, introduced Wednesday, would replace words like 'husband' and 'wife' from US Code with terms such as 'spouse' or 'married couple.'

Rep. Lois Capps (D- Santa Barbara) said her bill gets rid of language that can reflect discrimination. For example, one federal law currently states that it's illegal to threaten the president's 'wife'.

"Changing these terms to 'spouse' would mean that whatever their gender....they're going to be protected," said Capps.

"That may be a very fine point and very limited in use, but it makes the point that words in our laws have meaning."

Capps said she expects the act will move forward quickly, as it has already gained 23 co-sponsors since it's introduction.

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