Pentagon Extends Benefits to Same-Sex Couples

But DOMA prevents it from going all the way, Leon Panetta says

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 11, 2013 12:01 PM CST

(Newser) – The Pentagon has decided to begin extending to same-sex partners many of the same benefits it offers married couples, Leon Panetta announced today. "It is a matter of fundamental equity that we provide similar benefits to all of those men and women in uniform who serve their country," Panetta said in a statement, which you can read in full at the Miami Herald.

There are some benefits the military won't be extending, however, because the Defense of Marriage Act legally prohibits it from doing so. But Panetta noted that the Supreme Court is currently reviewing DOMA. "While it will not change during my tenure as secretary of Defense, I foresee a time when the law will allow the department to grant full benefits to service members and their dependents, irrespective of sexual orientation," he said.

Navy sailors high-five before the gay pride parade Saturday, July 21, 2012, in San Diego.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
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