Dems declare war on words 'husband,' 'wife' More than two dozen Democrats have proposed legislation that would eliminate the words "husband" and "wife" from federal law. Those "gendered terms" would be replaced by "gender-neutral" words like "spouse" or "married couple," according to the bill from Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif. "The Amend the Code for Marriage Equality Act recognizes that the words in our laws have meaning and can continue to reflect prejudice and discrimination even when rendered null by our highest courts," Capps said. "Our values as a country are reflected in our laws. I authored this bill because it is imperative that our federal code reflect the equality of all marriages." The Supreme Court ruled in June that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution means all states have to license same-sex marriages, a ruling that effectively ended the same-sex marriage debate in America. Capps said her bill was aimed at taking the next step, which is to ensure the United States Code "reflects the equality of all marriages."