Pentagon to Extend Benefits to Married Same-Sex Couples
Nicole Collins Bronzan
Communications Director, Freedom to Marry
Washington -- The U.S. Department of Defense announced today that it will begin extending full benefits to same-sex spouses by Sept. 3, marking the beginning of its implementation of the Supreme Court ruling against the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act. To ensure that couples stationed in states that discriminate in marriage are able to be eligible for protections and benefits, the Pentagon will grant up to 10 days of leave for unmarried gay and lesbian service members to travel to states where they can legally marry their partners.
Marc Solomon, national campaign director of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:
“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.”
Freedom to Marry’s new plan, “Roadmap to Victory – Finishing the Job,” released last month, details the national plan for winning marriage nationwide in years, not decades. Following the winning strategy that has helped create the current momentum for marriage, the new plan calls for setting the stage for a successful return to the Supreme Court by ensuring that by 2016, a majority of Americans live in a marriage state, polls show public support for the freedom to marry above 60%, and federal marriage discrimination has been eliminated through passage of the Respect for Marriage Act.
Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.