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DOD announces same-sex benefits
Aug 26, 2013 | 705 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WASHINGTON, D.C. —  The Department of Defense will be extending benefits to same-sex spouses of uniformed service members and DOD civilian employees, it was announced late last week.

Referring to a DOD press release, the American Force Press Service said the action came following a review of the department’s benefit policies. That came after the Supreme Court’s ruling that Section Three of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

After conferring with the Department of Justice and other executive branch agencies, the DOD has decided to make spousal and family benefits available no later than Sept. 3. That’s regardless of sexual orientation, as long as service member-sponsors provide a valid marriage certificate, the press release said.

“The DOD remains committed to ensuring all men and women who serve in the U.S. military, and their families, are treated fairly and equally as the law directs,” the information said.

Entitlements such as TRICARE enrollment, basic housing, and family separation allowance are retroactive to the date of the Supreme Court’s decision.

For those married after June 26, entitlements begin on their marriage date.

Those same-sex military couples not living in a jurisdiction that allows them to legally marry will be allowed non-chargeable leave.

For civilian benefits administered government-wide to federal employees, the DOD will follow guidance from the Office of Personnel and the Department of Labor’s to ensure that the same benefits currently available to heterosexual couples are also available to legally married same-sex couples, the article said.
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