26 June 2013

Excellent statement by Secretary Hagel on DOMA ruling

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage for all federal purposes as a legal union between a man and a woman. Under DOMA, same-sex spouses were denied federal benefits that were available to heterosexual spouses.

Upon today's news, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel issued the following excellent statement:

The Department of Defense welcomes the Supreme Court's decision today on the Defense of Marriage Act. The department will immediately begin the process of implementing the Supreme Court's decision in consultation with the Department of Justice and other executive branch agencies. The Department of Defense intends to make the same benefits available to all military spouses -- regardless of sexual orientation -- as soon as possible. That is now the law and it is the right thing to do.

Every person who serves our nation in uniform stepped forward with courage and commitment. All that matters is their patriotism, their willingness to serve their country, and their qualifications to do so. Today's ruling helps ensure that all men and women who serve this country can be treated fairly and equally, with the full dignity and respect they so richly deserve.

Bravo, Secretary Hagel!

And congratulations to all the same-sex military spouses who will now receive the benefits that, as Secretary Hagel said, they so richly deserve.

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