Friday, December 13, 2013

QUEER QUOTE: Pentagon Announces Victory On Same-Sex Benefits Issue

Good news! It appears that the controversy is now over about whether certain states who have public policies (e.g. state constitutional amendments and/or homophobic politicians) that they claim mean that they are allowed to not recognize same-sex marriages for any purpose will be forced to process applications from same-sex couples who are requesting federal benefits from the National Guard.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel had previously made clear that the National Guard is ultimately under the control of the Pentagon and his interpretation of Department of Defense policy and declared that all military service members would be treated equally, regardless of the local beliefs about same-sex marriage.

The Pentagon released a statement from Hagel which is today's Queer Quote:
On Oct. 31, I called on the chief of the National Guard Bureau to work with several states to fully implement Department of Defense policy by providing DoD identification cards to all eligible military spouses, regardless of sexual orientation.  Following consultations between the National Guard Bureau and the adjutants general of the states, all eligible service members, dependents and retirees - including same-sex spouses - are now able to obtain ID cards in every state. All military spouses and families sacrifice on behalf of our country.  They deserve our respect and the benefits they are entitled to under the law.  All of DoD is committed to pursuing equal opportunities for all who serve this nation, and I will continue to work to ensure our men and women in uniform as well as their families have full and equal access to the benefits they deserve.
Politicians like Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin decided to stop processing all applications from married couples in order to not have to process applicants from married same-sex couples.

However, now it seems like all married couples are being provided equal access to federal DoD benefits.

Great news!

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