SHAHEEN STATEMENT ON PENTAGON ANNOUNCING BENEFITS FOR SAME-SEX MILITARY, CIVILIAN COUPLESAugust 14, 2013
U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement welcoming the Pentagon’s decision to extend benefits to same-sex spouses of uniformed service members and Defense Department employees.
“Every individual who serves in uniform deserves access to the benefits that they’ve earned. While the Pentagon’s decision is a big win for fairness and equality, the fact is that more needs to be done. Until the Department of Veterans Affairs issues a similar announcement, I will continue to push forward the Charlie Morgan Act so that veterans and their families also enjoy the benefits they have rightfully earned and deserve.”
In this morning’s announcement, the Pentagon declared that “After a review of the department's benefit policies following the Supreme Court's ruling that Section Three of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, and in consultation with the Department of Justice and other executive branch agencies, the Defense Department will make spousal and family benefits available no later than Sept. 3, 2013, regardless of sexual orientation, as long as service member-sponsors provide a valid marriage certificate.”
The Pentagon also noted that for same-sex military couples not stationed in jurisdictions that permit same-sex marriage, the “department will implement policies to allow military personnel in such a relationship non-chargeable leave for the purpose of travelling to a jurisdiction where such a marriage may occur.”
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