Department of Defense to Provide Equal Benefits to Married Gay Couples
“The Department of Defense intends to make the same benefits available to all military spouses, regardless of sexual orientation, as soon as possible,” Hagel said in a statement. “That is now the law, and it is the right thing to do.”
On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional, which gave legally married gay couples the same rights as straight couples at a federal level.
What this means for gay couples in the military is that spouses will now enjoy all the benefits as the spouses of straight service members, including medical, dental, interment at Arlington National Cemetery, and with-dependent Basic Allowance for Housing.
The DOD said it hopes to begin to update and process ID cards for same-sex military spouses within six to 12 weeks.
“For civilian employees, the Department will look to [the Office of Personnel Management] for guidance. For civilian employees who are eligible for ID card-related benefits, the Department intends that ID cards will be made available to same-sex spouses of civilian employees at the same time as same-sex spouses of military members,” a department spokesman said in a statement.