Pentagon To Provide Same-Sex Benefits Starting Next Month

A sailor proposes to his boyfriend after returning from his deployment on the USS New Mexico

Kristina Young/AP/U.S. Navy

AA Font size + Print

A sailor proposes to his boyfriend after returning from his deployment on the USS New Mexico

The military will also allow troops to take leave to get married if they are stationed more than 100 miles from a state where same-sex marriage is legal. By Amelia Gruber

Same-sex spouses of military members will have access to the same benefits as other spouses no later than Sept. 3, the Defense Department announced Wednesday.

Benefits such as health insurance through TRICARE, the basic housing allowance and the family separation allowance will be retroactive to June 26, the date the Supreme Court struck down the section of the Defense of Marriage Act that had prevented the federal government from recognizing legal same-sex marriages.

Defense officials earlier this summer vetted the department’s plan for complying with the high court’s decision with the Justice Department and other agencies.  

“It is now the department’s policy to treat all married military personnel equally,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel wrote in an Aug. 13 memorandum to military departments. “The department will work to make the same benefits available to all military spouses, regardless of whether they are in same-sex or opposite-sex marriages. The department will continue to recognize all marriages that are valid in the place of celebration.”

The new policy also allows service members in same-sex relationships to take leave to get married, if they are stationed more than 100 miles from a state where same-sex marriage is legal. Those inside the continental United States will be allowed seven days of leave; those outside will get up to 10 days.

Defense Department civilian employees in same-sex marriages will also be entitled to the same benefits as heterosexual married couples. For civilians, the department will follow Office of Personnel Management and Labor Department guidance. Days after the Supreme Court ruling, OPM said same-sex spouses would qualify for health benefits, life insurance, and dental and vision insurance immediately.

Close [ x ] More from DefenseOne
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from DefenseOne.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download
  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Top 5 Findings: Security of Internet of Things To Be Mission-Critical

    As federal agencies increasingly leverage these capabilities, government security stakeholders now must manage and secure a growing number of devices, including those being used remotely at the “edge” of networks in a variety of locations. With such security concerns in mind, Government Business Council undertook an indepth research study of federal government leaders in January 2017. Here are five of the key takeaways below which, taken together, paint a portrait of a government that is increasingly cognizant and concerned for the future security of IoT.

    Download
  • Coordinating Incident Response on Posts, Camps and Stations

    Effective incident response on posts, camps, and stations is an increasingly complex challenge. An effective response calls for seamless conversations between multiple stakeholders on the base and beyond its borders with civilian law enforcement and emergency services personnel. This whitepaper discusses what a modern dispatch solution looks like -- one that brings together diverse channels and media, simplifies the dispatch environment and addresses technical integration challenges to ensure next generation safety and response on Department of Defense posts, camps and stations.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.