Monday, February 11, 2013

Some Same Sex Military Benefits Granted

Courtesy The Advocate
Same-sex partners and spouses of military personnel will now be allowed certain rights and benefits that were once restricted to heterosexual military spouses, like identification cards, and joint duty assignments.

Additional benefits for same-sex domestic partners include:
- Dependent ID cards, which will be renewed in accordance with existing policies
- Commissary privilges
- Morale, welfare, and recreation programs
- Surveys of military families
- Quadrennial quality of life review
- Emergency leave
- Emergency leave of absence
- Youth sponsorship program
- Youth programs
- Family center programs
- Sexual assault counseling program
- Joint duty assignments
- Exemption from hostile-fire areas
- Transportation to and from certain places of employment and on military installations
- Transportation to and from primary and secondary school for minor dependents
- Authority of service secretary to transport remains of a dependent
- Disability and death compensation: dependents of members held as captives
- Payments to missing persons
- Space-available travel on DoD aircraft
- Child care
- Legal assistance

Other benefits, such health care and housing allowances, can only be granted to same-sex couples once the Defense of Marriage Act is repealed, because those statutes are governed using the words "spouse" and "marriage." DOMA bars the federal government from recognizing the legal marriages of same-sex couples.
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