On September 20, 2011 Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) was officially repealed.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. However, due to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a same-sex marriage will not be recognized as a valid marriage by the military even if it is validly performed in a state that allows same-sex marriage. Read the sections below for information on benefits for partners 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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