WATCH: Pentagon video “Finally Recognized” highlights married same-sex couples
September 26, 2013
This week, an official video from the U.S. Department of Defense highlights legally married military same-sex couples across the country finally being granted respect for their marriages by the federal government and by the U.S. military. The policy change took effect on September 3, 2013, and the spouses of gay and lesbian servicemembers were finally able to apply for military ID cards, allowing them access to the military base and many other protections that the military provides for different-sex couples.
The video features Jonathan and Navy Senior Chief Dwayne D. Beebe-Franqui, members of the American Military Partner Association who have previously shared with Freedom to Marry their story of how DOMA hurts and how wonderful their wedding day in Maryland and later celebration in Florida was. The video features the couple, married in January in Maryland, doing something as simple as going grocery shopping at the commissary, something that Jonathan would not have been permitted to do without his husband before getting the ID card. It's a simple demonstration of equality, but a powerful symbol of the couple - and thousands of military couples like them across the country - taking a step forward into a world where same-sex couples and different-sex couples are treated equally.
Watch the video:
This month, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced the news about the implementation of the June 2013 DOMA ruling, saying: "It is now the department's policy to treat all married military personnel equally." The new policy also allows unmarried gay and lesbian servicemembers living in states without the freedom to marry up to ten days of leave so that they can travel to marriage states or the District of Columbia and legally wed their partner.
Freedom to Marry's National Campaign Director Marc Solomon praised the Defense Department for the decision while acknowledging the need for the freedom to marry across the country, saying, "We applaud the Defense Department for acting swiftly and doing all within its power to ensure that married gay and lesbian service members are treated equally. The fact that same-sex couples who are serving at military bases throughout the country must in many cases travel hundreds if not thousands of miles to get married and be treated as equals by the Pentagon highlights the need to move quickly to national resolution, with the freedom to marry guaranteed to loving and committed couples nationwide."