Monday, February 11, 2013

US government playing catching up?

In a continuing effort to make keep LDS men who may "have same-sex issues" (read: homos worthy of temple recomends) I report today on a milestone for gays in the military, and conversely for all of us.

It's been a year plus that the Pentagon lifted the ban on gays serving openly in the military.  Today, several benefits were extended to these men and women and their families -- including benefits include commissary privileges, access to support initiatives for the family and joint duty assignments.
The action was taken by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, as one of his last moves as a member of Barack Obama's Cabinet.
"At the time of repeal, I committed to reviewing benefits that had not previously been available to same-sex partners based on existing law and policy," Mr. Panetta said 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. The department already provides a group of benefits that are member-designated. Today, I am pleased to announce that after a thorough and deliberate review, the department will extend additional benefits to same-sex partners of service members."
A memo explaining the changes presented by Panetta said extending other items, such as burial rights at national cemeteries and on-base housing to gay service members, would present "complex legal and policy challenges to due their nexus to statutorily-prohibited benefits and due to ongoing reviews about how best to provide scarce resources."
OutServe-SLDN, an association dedicated to ending all forms of discrimination of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation, named the Pentagon's announcement "substantive." (
"Secretary Panetta's decision today answers the call President Obama issued in his inaugural address to complete our nation's journey toward equality, acknowledging the equal service and equal sacrifice of our gay and lesbian service members and their families," said director Allyson Robinson in a written statement.
"Building on the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' today's announcement is another big step toward equality in the military," she continued. "Just as no individual should be forced to hide who they love to serve their county, no individual should be deprived of the benefits they have earned simply because of who they have married."
With these newly granted exceptions aside, there are many other important benefits that gay service members and their families cannot access due to the Defense of Marriage Act -- a law prohibiting the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.,b=facebook

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