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Looking Out: Pentagon to provide same-sex spouse benefits by end of the month

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Military members in same-sex relationships could get up to 10 days of leave to travel to states where they can be legally wed, according to a memo obtained this week by The Associated Press.

Written by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the proposal would also grant health, housing and other benefits to same-sex spouses of military personnel by the end of August. In February, the Pentagon moved to extend some benefits to same-sex partners who signed a declaration of their commitment, but housing was not included in the initial plans. In the wake of the Supreme Court's reversal of the Defense of Marriage Act, though, a more inclusive benefits plan based on marriage has become feasible.

Still, same-sex couples are only allowed to marry in 13 states and D.C. Allowing a special leave provision for LGBT military members to go tie the knot somewhere the marriage would be legally recognized takes a nice step toward correcting the disparity. (Then again, by not giving straight couples the same leave, the Pentagon -- which is all about equal treatment now that Don't Ask, Don't Tell is over -- would be setting itself up for some grumbling.)

Here's hoping this passes, if only for the proliferation of same-sex Marine couples strolling by the Inner Harbor hand-in-hand.

With that picturesque post-DOMA image in your head, let's march onto other news:

Done swooning over Tom Daley? What news have you been talking about this week?

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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