Pentagon to Extend New Benefits to Spouses of Gay Personnel

The Pentagon is set to announce it is extending new benefits to the spouses of gay and lesbian personnel, the Washington Post reports:

PanettaThe military expects to announce the decision this week.

Officials at the Pentagon would not say which new benefits the department has determined it can extend to same-sex couples without violating the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law that bars the federal government from legally recognizing same-sex unions. Gay rights advocates have called for benefits including housing privileges, access to base recreational facilities and joint duty assignments for couples in the military.

Legal experts say, however, that the Pentagon will be unable to extend more than 100 benefits while the Defense of Marriage Act remains in place.

The new guidelines will be departing Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta’s final imprint on the armed forces.


  1. says

    This is good news. Hopefully spouses will get base access, commissary and PX privileges at least. I am in the Army Reserve and when I am on active duty training status, my husband can’t even take our son, who is a legal dependent, onto our local base to take care of business. The last time I was gone, my husband needed an ID card just to get another ID card for our son. Since I was gone it was impossible. Military inequality doesn’t only affect same sex spouses, it affects children.

    It’s time to end the madness.

  2. says

    THANK YOU Army Wife Ashley Broadway, American Military Partner Association, Rep. Adam B. Schiff, the 25 of his colleagues who signed his letter to Panetta, and similar pressure by Senators Gillibrand, Shaheen, and Boxer. NO THANKS to SLDN except for sending a list of allowable benefits [below] to Panetta in August 2011, but, then, obviously dropping the ball when he ignored them. They COULD have made this happen THEN if they weren’t so afraid of getting taken off the White House Xmas card list. As for Pentagon shill Cmdr. Leslie Hull-Ryde. pardon my French but she’s a shameless liar. As they admitted in their November 2010 pre-repeal “study,” they’ve known FOR OVER TWO YEARS what benefiits COULD legally be extended—even spelled out ways it could be done. They’ve just refused because there were still too many influential homophones in the DoD. If ANY continue to be denied, the gay community will only have ITSELF to blame for failing to DEMAND full equality under the law. NOW, what about the Pentagon’s REFUSAL to give individual gay service members the protections against harassment and discrimination others get such as nongay blacks and women? REMEMBER, Mr. President, these things are “NOT self-executing.”


    Access to Military Family Housing
    DEERS & Military ID Cards
    Access to Morale, Welfare, & Recreation Programs
    Access to Commissaries & Exchanges
    Access to Family Programs
    Legal Services
    Hospital Visitation
    Joint Duty Assignments
    Exemption from Hostile-Fire Areas
    Command-Sponsored Dependent Status and Space-Available Travel
    Spousal Privilege in Courts Martial

  3. John says

    Mr. Bedwell: you believe the world is perfectible and so you will always find it unsatisfying.

    To quote Angels in America.

    Push forward, always, but your bitter attitude is demoralizing and self-defeating. It is entirely negative and soul draining. I hope one day you find peace with the world and our struggle… balance is everything.

  4. John says

    “Queer Quislings Obama cockroaches”…

    and you all thought Bedwell just specialized in long-winded negative walls of text.

    I imagine he’s some bloated and bloviating gay Rush Limbaugh-type, furiously typing away at his keyboard.

  5. HM2 Matt says

    I hope that these benefits are meaningful. As an enlisted person I am barely supporting myself and my partner. I can’t even begin to tell you how angry it makes me to listen to Officers on this matter. All active duty LGB personnel deserve recognition but its the enlisted members that are feeling the pain more than any other.

    Remember, there’s another 1% in this country. They put their lives and the livelyhood of their families in harm’s way for the rest of you and most of them live on the poverty line.

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