- Posted February 11, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Defense Moves Toward Equality for Same-Gender Spouses
Outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is not breaking down the door, but is leaving it ajar as the Department of Defense announced today that some benefits would be awarded to legal same-gender spouses of service members. This is a big step forward, but kept to limited benefits by the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA is up for review in March by the Supreme Court which is being asked to rule that non-recognition of same-gender marriages legally granted in nine states is unconstitutional.
I highlighted the issue of same-gender spouses not receiving equality though legally married to service members back on January 22, in my article: "Fight, Bleed, Die - Equality, No". Since that time there has been a push across the nation calling on the Pentagon and Congress to address the issue. Today, though not 100%, the DoD did just that.
In making the announcement, Panetta pointed out that DOMA was a roadblock to full equality. Panetta also said, "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.
“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."
Within the next 60 days a plan is to be implemented which will provide for such benefits as military identification cards and commissary privileges for same-gender spouses. While full equality has not been reached, this is moving the conversation and the action in the right direction.
From the Cornfield, step by step, little win by little win, equality will hopefully be enjoyed by all Americans within my lifetime.