On September 20, 2011 Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) was officially repealed. Before the repeal of DADT, a statement such as “I am gay” or a similar statement that would lead a reasonable person to conclude the service member was gay – was considered homosexual conduct and grounds for discharge. Since the repeal of DADT, statements about a service member’s sexual orientation are no longer grounds for discharge.
Same-sex marriage is currently permitted in several states and the District of Columbia. Other states have provisions for domestic partnerships or civil unions. Previously, under DADT, any marriage or attempted marriage (which included civil unions, domestic partnerships, or commitment ceremonies) was grounds for discharge.
Today, service members are free to marry, obtain a domestic partnership or civil union, or have a commitment ceremony with another person of the same sex without fear of separation. On June 26, 2013 the Supreme Court ruled that Section Three of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. Beginning September 3, 2013 the Department of Defense will make spousal and family benefits available to same-sex spouses who provide a valid marriage certificate.
Read the sections below for information on benefits for same-sex spouses and available resources.
Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
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