Pentagon Announces Same-Sex Spouse Benefits

I am so proud of Washington state for pushing referendum 74 through in December of 2012, making our state the tenth jurisdiction in the United States (9 states, plus the District of Columbia) to extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples.  Since that time I have had the honor  and privilege of officiating dozens of same-sex weddings for couples from all over the country.

Following is an update from the Department of Defense who has voted to extend federal benefits to same-sex spouses of military service members.  Congratulations on another victory!

Courtesy of NBC News.com September 3, 2013:

“The Department of Defense announced a plan on Wednesday to extend a range of federal benefits to same-sex spouses of military service members starting Sept. 3.

The Pentagon will extend to legally married same-sex couples the same privileges and programs that are provided to legally married heterosexual couples, including benefits tied to health care, housing, and family separation allowance, compensation paid to military members when their dependents can’t live with them at their permanent duty station.

“The Department of Defense remains committed to ensuring that all men and women who serve in the U.;SD. military, and their families, are treated fairly and equally as the law directs,” the Pentagon said in its announcement Wednesday.

On Tuesday, a senior official told NBC News that service members who are stationed in one of the 37 states where same-sex marriage is illegal will be offered up to 10 days of leave so they can travel to one of the 13 states, plus the District of Columbia, that grant same-sex marriage licenses.

All entitlements are retroactive to June 26, 2013 the date of the Supreme Court’s ruling that a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, is unconstitutional.

By Jim Miklaszewski, Courtney Kube and Elizabeth Chuck, NBC News

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