Advertisement

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

Looking Out: Pentagon to provide same-sex spouse benefits by end of the month
Army Sgt. Michael Potoczniak and his partner, Todd Saunders, left, go through the process of getting married at City Hall in San Francisco. Under a Pentagon proposal, Saunders could be eligible for military benefits by the end of August. (Wally Skalij, Los Angeles Times/MCT)

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.

Advertisement

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?

Advertisement
Advertisement