Today, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the Pentagon will extend benefits to same-sex partners of military personnel.
Some excerpts from his statement:
"It is a matter of fundamental equity that we provide similar benefits to all of those men and women in uniform who serve their country. The department already provides a group of benefits that are member-designated. Today, I am pleased to announce that after a thorough and deliberate review, the department will extend additional benefits to same-sex partners of service members.Sadly, he acknowledged that the Defense of Marriage Act is still the law of the land, and therefore prevents total equality in benefits. Hopefully the Supreme Court, which will soon be reviewing DOMA, will defer to this country's founding principle that "all men are created equal" - not just the heterosexual ones.
"Taking care of our service members and honoring the sacrifices of all military families are two core values of this nation. Extending these benefits is an appropriate next step under current law to ensure that all service members receive equal support for what they do to protect this nation."