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Pentagon Extends Benefits To Same-Sex Spouses

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kristina Young

Photo credit: U.S. Navy

Machinist's Mate (Nuclear) 2nd Class Jerrel Revel proposes to his boyfriend upon the return of the Virginia-class fast attack submarine USS New Mexico (SSN 779) from a scheduled 6-month deployment.

The Pentagon announced today it will extend benefits to same-sex military spouses, retroactive to June 26, 2013 - the date the Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

Those benefits include:

-TRICARE enrollment

-Basic allowance for housing (BAH)

-Family separation allowance

Benefits start for couples wed after June 26, 2013 on the date they were married.

According to a Department of Defense news release, couples will also get 10 days of marriage leave:

We recognize that same-sex military couples who are not stationed in a jurisdiction that permits same-sex marriage would have to travel to another jurisdiction to marry. That is why the department will implement policies to allow military personnel in such a relationship non-chargeable leave for the purpose of travelling to a jurisdiction where such a marriage may occur.

This will provide accelerated access to the full range of benefits offered to married military couples throughout the department, and help level the playing field between opposite-sex and same-sex couples seeking to be married.

Benefits will become available to married same-sex couples no later than September 3, 2013.

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