H.R.677 - 21st Century President Act

Congress man and Representative Mark Pocan

To amend gendered terms in Federal law relating to the President and the President’s spouse.



You might favor this bill if:
►  You believe that gendered language associated with politicians and their life partners, particularly those related to the President of the United States, is obsolete and archaic in nature. Spouses have the right to gender-neutral language as it pertains to their gender identities in official documents as well as media coverage.

You might oppose this bill if:
►  You believe that traditional terms as they have been used to refer to wives and widows of U.S. presidents should be left untouched. Traditional terms, as they have been used to refer to wives and widows of U.S. presidents, should encourage traditional family values.
Bill Status
Introduced House Senate President Law


Vote Results


Sponsor Representative

H.R.677
Co-Sponsored by: 1 Rep / 40 Dem.
See list of cosponsors.


The 21st Century President Act would update and modernize certain gender-related terms used for family members of the President of the United States who are protected by law from threats and politically related danger.

In particular, the act would replace the words “wife” and “widow” with “spouse” and “surviving spouse” in United States federal law.

The bill would not affect the total number of people protected by such laws, so the implementation of H.R. 677 would likely result in no cost to the federal government.

The intention of this act is to modernize terms relating to the President of the United States of American and the spouse of the United States of America.

Rep. Mark William Pocan, the sponsor of H.R. 677, serves as Co-Chair of both the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.

Pocan is married to his husband Philip Frank and is openly gay, as well as a public political activist in favor of LGBTQ rights. As such, Pocan introduced the bill in support of LGBTQ partners of future President elects, and partly because of the struggle for his husband to be recognized as a congressional spouse.

“In the past I know there have been same-sex partners that have been turned down” from participating in congressional delegations and general acceptance, Rep. Pocan said in an interview.


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