Military to extend same-sex marriage benefits
August 14th, 2013
06:52 PM ET

Military to extend same-sex marriage benefits

(CNN) - The Pentagon will permit members of the military to travel to wed same-sex partners if the community or state where they are based does not permit it, a key element of a new benefits policy unveiled Wednesday.

The Defense Department announced its intention to extended health, housing and other benefits to same-sex spouses of uniformed military personnel and defense civilian employees.

That follows a presidential directive to act swiftly in complying with changes brought about by a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

The military said it would make spousal and family benefits available no later than September 3, "regardless of sexual orientation" so long as a valid marriage certificate is provided.

"The Department of Defense remains committed to ensuring that all men and women who serve in the U.S. military, and their families, are treated fairly and equally as the law directs," the Pentagon said in a statement.

Claims are retroactive to the Supreme Court's decision on June 26 to throw out key parts of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as that between a man and a woman and outlawed federal benefits for same-sex couples.

A centerpiece of the new policy would grant administrative leave to military personnel to travel to wed if where they are based does not permit same-sex marriage.

"This will provide accelerated access to the full range of benefits offered to married military couples throughout the department, and help level the playing field between opposite-sex and same-sex couples seeking to be married," the statement said.

Following the high court decision, President Barack Obama ordered that federal agencies act swiftly to implement related changes.

Same-sex marriage is legal in 13 states and the District of Columbia.

New Jersey and New Mexico have no laws either banning or allowing same-sex marriage.

Post by:
Filed under: DADT • Military • Military life • Obama • Pentagon • Security Brief
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    • AO1JMM

      I am pretty sure there are many things that you do or enjoy watching that I would think is disgusting.

      August 16, 2013 at 11:43 pm | Reply
  86. Keith

    What's next a little rainbow added to the American Flag ?????

    August 15, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Reply
    • Jax

      OH Grow Up Keith!

      August 15, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Reply
      • AO1JMM

        Well said

        August 16, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
    • Navin Johnson

      Sure, why not. they added a fairy tale character to our Pledge and on our money. And as our motto. So, a rainbow on the flag seems fitting.

      August 16, 2013 at 12:11 am | Reply
      • Tim

        Or, we could just put your pic on it – that would cause people to double up with laughter........

        August 17, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
  87. idb

    In the meanwhile the military is cutting benefits for wounded warriors and veterans.

    August 15, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Reply
    • Wiltonmanors

      Benefits to all couples should be cut off and the funding given to wounded warriors and veterans.

      August 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Reply
      • Doug K

        I think you're confused over what the term "benefits" means in this instance. The "benefits" that married servicemembers get is the ability to live with their spouse in a house as opposed to being forced to live in the barracks, medical coverage for their family members just like in most civilian jobs, ID card access for family members onto military installations, the right to shop in military exchanges (department store) and commisaries (grocery store).

        You also make a strange contrast between "veterans" and "couples". Do you think that a servicemember who has deployed to combat should be able to give the above listed priveleges to his/her spouse? Do you think that the spouse of a servicemember who has spent 12 or more months with their loved one overseas, trying to avoid watching the constant news stories of casualties, should not be allowed to buy gas for their car on a military base? I'm also curious how you would classify my wife and I – we are both servicemembers, and have both deployed to combat. Do you think we should get benefits, or are we only a couple?

        August 15, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
  88. Nic

    Not sure why anyone agrees with gay marriage, calling it a 'right', when it's unnatural. When your son or daughter are really young you prohibit them from touching the hot stove or eating too much candy....and yeah they cry because in their minds they want their way. It's no different with these people, except they like to call it 'equal rights' to get what they want. Next you're going to see pedophiles jump up and demand rights, people involved in incest will want rights...and the liberals will just keep giving them what they want because they don't have balls to say no to anyone...they just think you should do whatever makes you happy...even if it kills you at the end.

    August 15, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Reply
    • lew todd

      Nic,
      You are one of the most ignorant, moronic person I have come across...I gues you were completely against interacial marriage as well...Who says that marriage between a man and a woman is appropriate...The Bible??? Give me a break...You do realize that the pedophile comment you make applies directly to all the priests that are moslesting young children as we speak...So much for your moral Bible and its followers...You forgot the other talking point about marriage between animals and humans is next...Thankfully, your kind is slowly dying off and will soon be extinct...Time to return to the Klan meeting...

      August 15, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Reply
    • Sullivan Trent

      Amazing how your little brain doesn't see a difference between two consenting adults who love each other and want to marry and illegal relationships where there is no consent in acts like pedophilia and incest. Were you born that way or did you catch it off a toilet seat?

      August 16, 2013 at 1:23 am | Reply
    • Mel

      Contact lenses and polyester are unnatural but I don't see you clutching your pearls over that. America is a free country. Just like you have the right to be an ignorant fruitloop, every American should have the right to marry whomever they chose. The idea that an otherwise sane and intelligent person could support our government trying to legislate morality is unthinkable. Shame on you.

      August 16, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Reply
    • TomC

      I don't think I've ever seen such ignorance in my life. Unreal.

      August 16, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  89. Fred Carr

    I have long said that our military is a "free proving ground" for medical and social experimentation. All those anthrax shots and others we received. Removing all of our metal dental fillings because they could be injurious. Removing Playboy magazines from the PX shelves. But we had no choice. So, I guess now we all have to put up with the Gays.

    Oh Well. At least I no longer wear the uniform.

    August 15, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Reply
    • AO1JMM

      Get over yourself!

      August 16, 2013 at 11:44 pm | Reply
      • Bosnm8

        It is amazing how you are quick to bash anyone not following your ways. You are the type of person that gives any group a bad rep.. Its time to "GET OVER YOURSELF" and let Consenting free thinking adults make their statements.... Oh ya and A01 Thank you for your service

        August 18, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  90. Vince

    You don't have to like it...but this is how things are now....so deal with it.

    August 15, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Reply
    • Sullivan Trent

      Exactly! Move to Russia if you don't like it. You'll be right at home.

      August 16, 2013 at 1:24 am | Reply
  91. Hillcrester

    SecDef Hagel and the DoD have done the right thing, The key concept reported in the Los Angeles Times article this morning is that from now on all married service members and their families will be treated the same, regardless of the genders involved.

    August 15, 2013 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • Jp

      There should only be one issue relating to the Secretary of Defense order and that is the non-charged leave. Can anyone justify this part of his order. Please don't talk about anything else. I support the remainder of his order. I would like to hear from the Gay military group.

      August 19, 2013 at 9:07 am | Reply
  92. Dan

    Times are changing. The kids born in the 1970,s and 1980,s. majority don't really care. My dads generation baby boomers. Would have a huge problem with this – The kids born in 1990,s and moving forward care about the environment rather than who gets married. As time takes the baby boomers. A shift in how U.S majority votes and thinks will occur in the future –

    August 15, 2013 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • TomC

      Nah. The Baby Boom generation is pretty down with this. It's more the Baby Boomer's parents, I think, who have problems with equality, people in their 70s and 80s.

      August 16, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  93. Natrldiver

    Well, there you have it. The federal government will now have to acknowledge gay marriage. Though I do not agree with it, at least the path is paved for this saga to come to a close.

    August 15, 2013 at 10:58 am | Reply
  94. Obamamama

    Disgusting.

    August 15, 2013 at 9:58 am | Reply
    • Jax

      Shame on you Obamamama! "Asking you to give me EQUAL RIGHTS implies they are yours to give. Instead I must demand that you stop trying to deny me the rights that all people deserve". Adapt and overcome and move on!

      August 15, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Reply
      • Lou

        It is in the Code of Military Justice that officers are not allowed to fraternize with non commissioned officers. What happens when a male Captain and a male private want to marry, let alone a male Captain and a female private ??

        August 15, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
      • Jax

        Ummmm that happens still to this day between male and female (straight) personnel!!

        August 15, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • AO1JMM

      What is disgusting? Your opinion? or the fact that you seem to think what you think is right is the only thing that is right?

      August 16, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Reply
  95. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    Bravo Obama!
    Gay soldiers certainly waited in line a long time to get their rights.

    August 15, 2013 at 8:30 am | Reply
  96. old salt

    Once again its not equal. I had to use my annual leave to get married. Why should these people be granted special leave and not me. Their not special their just gay. Now they get more leave than I do because their gay. hmmmmmm Me thinks I'll start my grievance paperwork in the morning asking for my leave back that I used to get married. Mine should be free too.

    August 14, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Reply
    • IrishinToronto

      Because you could get married in any state you chose – Gay people are forced to go to a state where Gay marriage is allowed. This law recognized an existing inequality and balances it. If all states permitted Gay marriage there would be no need for this policy.

      August 15, 2013 at 8:38 am | Reply
      • TomC

        Bingo

        August 16, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • reality

      Once again, a foolish comment about marriage equality. It’s not equal because you can use your annual leave to get married in ALL states, and a gay couple can only get married in ‘some’ states. If you want to be granted special leave, then you should be supporting a law that says straights can get married only in the ‘same’ states that gays can get married, and that straights will not be allowed to be married in all states. So which do you want: the ability to get married in all states, or only some states . . . . . . The fix for this problem would be for the federal gov’t to allow marriage equality for straights AND gays in ALL states.

      August 15, 2013 at 8:43 am | Reply
  97. nintex

    Good.

    August 14, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Reply
  98. Ann Heaney

    I agree with this article. "All men are created equal and endowed with unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". At first I felt strange seeing pictures of married gay couples. But that was because I was not used to it. Our society has changed and I need to change with it. The brains of straight couples are different than gay couples. It is basic biology. Several years ago we did not know this.

    August 14, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Reply
    • MIA

      When was a brain difference proven? Will hand size matter next? For those men and women who are married to each other I'm ashamed your brains are different.
      The science of hand size proves women with third finger (ring) longer than first finger are (nose picker) gay. So, another great example of biology driving this issue. Science will never mislead us.

      August 15, 2013 at 11:21 am | Reply
    • Brandi

      Such a beautiful, honest answer, Ann.

      August 15, 2013 at 11:50 am | Reply

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