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Pentagon Details Which Benefits Will Be Extended To Same-Sex Partners

Photo by Lucy Nicholson

In 2011, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Alejandra Schwartz, and her daughter Destiny Bautista, were living in San Diego, Calif., with Schwartz's then-fiance, U.S. Navy Counselor 1st Class Luz Bautista, who was pregnant at the time. Then, same-sex partners weren't able to get the benefits that heterosexual couples could.

Commissary privileges, family center programs, dependent I.D. cards, joint duty assignments and space-available travel on military aircraft are among the military benefits the Pentagon will now extend to same-sex partners, outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Monday.

His announcement follows the word that broke last week about the Defense Department's plans to extend many benefits to same-sex partners and their dependents since the "don't ask, don't tell" policy has been discontinued.

Some benefits cannot, because of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, be extended to same-sex partners. But Panetta's announcement says that these benefits will be extended to such partners:

-- Dependent I.D. cards

-- Commissary privileges

-- Exchange privileges

-- Morale, welfare and recreation programs

-- Surveys of military familes

-- Quadrennial quality of life review

-- Emergency leave

-- Emergency leave of absence

-- Youth sponsorship program

-- Youth programs

-- Family center programs

-- Sexual assault counseling program

-- Joint duty assignments

-- Exemption from hostile-fire areas

-- Transportation to and from certain places of employment and on military installations

-- Transportation to and from primary and secondary school for minor dependents

-- Authority of service secretary to transport remains of a dependent

-- Disability and death compensation: dependents of members held as captives

-- Payments to missing persons

-- Space-available travel on DoD aircraft

-- Child care

-- Legal assistance

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