Washington Post: Military Benefits for Same Sex Spouses

Leon E. Panetta appears before the Senate Armed Services Committee during confirmation hearings June 9, 2011. (Defense Department photo)

Leon E. Panetta appears before the Senate Armed Services Committee during confirmation hearings June 9, 2011. (Defense Department photo)

As Secretary Leon Panetta prepares to leave the Department of Defense, the Washington Post is reporting that he plans one more major change in policy.

The Pentagon has decided to extend certain benefits to the spouses of gay and lesbian personnel, according to officials and people notified about the decision, responding to the increasingly vocal appeals of same-sex couples in the military.

The military expects to announce the decision this week.

The new benefits were not identified by Pentagon officials, but the selection is limited by the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act which bars the federal government from recognizing same-sex unions. According to the Post story, the law prohibits effects more than 100 benefits.
Under Secretary Panetta’s term, the Pentagon has taken on two other major changes: ending the ban on openly gay military service members and expanding the role of women allowing them to serve in combat units.
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