The Pentagon on Monday extended certain benefits to family members of gays serving in the military.
Gay activist groups have fought for the expansion in benefits to include the families of homosexual service men and women for months, since the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, The Huffington Post reported. On Monday, the Pentagon announced benefits will now include commissary privileges, access to family support programs – and even consideration for joint duty assignments, the report continued.
This is one of Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s last initiatives, as he heads off to retirement from his post.
“At the time of repeal [of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell], I committed to reviewing benefits that hand not previously been available to same-sex partners,” said Mr. Panetta, on Monday, according to The Huffington Post. “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."
The new benefits for gay military members don’t include burial rights at national cemeteries, or the right for on-base housing, the report continued.