Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Navy Senior Chief Dwayne Beebe-Franqui proposed to his boyfriend Jonathan Beebe-Franqui at the 2012 San Diego LGBT Pride parade. The couple drove 30 hours from their home in Pensacola, Florida to attend the parade. Dwayne told The Navy Times it was important to be able to get engaged at the event:
"It was amazing, really. This is one time. This is history."
The couple legally married in Maryland in January 2013, but because the Defense of Marriage Act was still the law of the land, Jonathan wasn't granted the same military benefits as straight military spouses.
"Since DOMA is in place, I'm not viewed as Dwayne's spouse. I don't get access to the commissary. I don't get a military ID to go on base...
"I don't get military insurance benefits, meaning I have to pay over $200 extra a month for insurance. DOMA takes a lot out of our pockets and out of our relationship - it means that I can't support Dwayne as a spouse as I should be able to."
But on June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down DOMA. And on September 3, the Pentagon officially extended spousal and family benefits to same-sex spouses like Dwayne and Jonathan.
The Department of Defense, with the help of The American Military Partner Association, put together a video feature on the day couple could finally take advantage of the new spousal benefits extended to Jonathan.