Same sex couples will now be receiving military benefits.
Defense Secretary Leon Panette says discrimination based on sexual orientation, “has no place in the Department of Defense.” But same-sex spouses will still not be able to receive Social Security benefits, immigration privileges or health care and housing due to 1996 Defense of Marriage act.
Panetta goes to add, “There are certain benefits that can only be provided to spouses as defined by that law, which is now being reviewed by the United States Supreme Court. While it will not change during my tenure as secretary of defense, I foresee a time when the law will allow the department to grant full benefits to service members and their dependents, irrespective of sexual orientation. Until then, the department will continue to comply with current law while doing all we can to take care of all soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and their families.”
Social security attorneys are standing by, hoping that if enough people band the DOMA could be overturned.
But call this a victory.
“It is a matter of fundamental equity that we provide similar benefits to all of those men and women in uniform who serve their country,” Panetta said. “Taking care of our service members and honoring the sacrifices of all military families are two core values of this nation. Extending these benefits is an appropriate next step under current law to ensure that all service members receive equal support for what they do to protect this nation.”
Read more at SF Gate.