Inching Towards Equality: Military Benefits Extended to Same-Sex Couples
Advocates call Panetta's policy switch “encouraging"
Military benefits have been extended to the same-sex spouses and unmarried partners of gay service members. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta extended the perks, all previously denied by the Pentagon, on Monday including child care services, member-designated hospital visits, and the issuing of military ID cards, which will give the spouses and partners access to on-base commissaries, movie theaters and gyms. However, the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) still blocks the Department of Defense from enacting more than 85 other benefits provided to heterosexual couples and their families, most notably medical and dental care, housing allowances, and death benefits. (NBC News)