On behalf of Lake Toback Attorneys
It was a move that could delight gay marriage advocates in Chicago and all over the country. The Pentagon announced that it would recognize the legal status of wedded same-sex partners by allowing extra days off to marry as well as federal benefits for such couples. This was keeping in line with the US military’s treatment of traditional married couples, treatment that was not extended to domestic partnerships or civil unions.
The military benefits now available to same-sex spouses included housing allowances, health care and base access. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told senior Pentagon officials that the military would now treat all legally married couples the same. This was earlier prohibited by the Defense of Marriage act, which did not allow recognition of any marriages that were not between a man and a woman. The new policy comes after the Supreme Court found parts of the Defense of Marriage act unconstitutional. This allowed same-sex marriages to be recognized under federal law.
The extra time for a gay marriage was allowed because 37 states did not allow same-sex couples to wed. This meant that service members might have to travel hundreds of miles in order to get married in a state that did recognize such marriages. Gay rights advocates applauded the decision, but acknowledged that it was just one step in their ongoing effort to see same-sex partners recognized as equals in marriage by the federal government.
LGBT couples who seek legal advice might find it helpful to consult an attorney experienced in family law. Such a lawyer may be able to help same-sex couples with issues like adoption, civil union dissolution or creation, and other challenges faced by gay families.
Source: Times Dispatch, “Gay military couples will be given time off to marry“, Mike Hixenbaugh, August 17, 2013
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Chicago same-sex partners granted time off to marry by military