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Sorry, Gays in the Military: DOMA Trumps DADT Repeal

According to an Associated Press story, when DADT is repealed, gay servicemembers will still be treated like second-class citizens.

Thanks to 1996′s Defense of Marriage Act—which defines the institution as a legal union between a man and woman—the Pentagon claims the Defense Department is prohibited from extending partner benefits that “ease the costs of medical care, travel, housing and other living expenses” to gay couples, even if they were legally wed in a state that honors same-sex marriages.

That means housing allowances and off-base living space for gay servicemembers with partners could be decided as if they were living alone. Base transfers would not take into account their spouses. If two gay servicemembers are married to each other they may be transferred to two different states or regions of the world. For heterosexual couples, the military tries to avoid that from happening.

Don’t think that sucks hard enough? Same-sex partners cannot receive military IDs, so they can’t shop in commissaries, receive treatment at military medical facilities or even be allowed on base unescorted. They can be listed as the person to be notified if a soldier is missing, injured or killed, but cannot be told any details about the death. And if their partner is killed, the military won’t pay for them to go collect the body.

Should DOMA be repealed, the military’s policy regarding same-sex partner benefits could change. But for now we suggest any potential recruits think twice before signing up to (not) be all they can be.

 

Image via Servicemembers Legal Defense Fund

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Jul 19, 2011
Tagged: , ,

  • 19 Comments
    • Dave
      Dave

      Even if the “federal recognition” portion of DOMA is repealed and the military extends benefits, it’s still going to suck. Every couple years you’re going to have to move to another base in another state where you may or may not be legally married. You may or may not have community property, be able to file state taxes together, be able to apply for joint life/property insurance, and hundreds of other benefits–despite having a legally valid marriage in your home state that the government and the military recognize. Your family life is going to be a constant crapshoot, depending on whether or not your latest set of straight neighbors feel like sharing their toys.

      In fact, even repealing the “interstate recognition” portion of DOMA wouldn’t help you in most states, since the Full Faith and Credit clause doesn’t apply to marriages that would be per se illegal, only those which are technically deficient.

      Fun times.

      Jul 19, 2011 at 6:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealMannequinAdam
      TheRealMannequinAdam

      That’s the bigoted career these military gays have chosen for themselves. They can’t whine when they’ve already signed up for it.

      Jul 19, 2011 at 7:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Skeloric
      Skeloric

      Why any self respecting GLBT person believes this country is even WORTH defending is quite beyond me.
      If ever there were a case where America were at war with a country with a better GLBT track record, I’d offer my services to the enemy of my country as such a country would NOT be my enemy.

      Jul 19, 2011 at 7:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lemon-lime
      lemon-lime

      @Dave: RE: Deficient vs. illegal… Can you speak to the difference? I’m still trying to figure out why first cousin marriages are recognized in states where it is not legal to marry your first cousin, but same sex marriages performed elsewhere may be fundamentally different?

      Jul 19, 2011 at 7:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      The good news is that you’ll be allowed to shoot up bases and be treated equal to muslim psychos.

      Jul 19, 2011 at 8:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Once again, don’t get distracted by the details, this isn’t about people who want to serve in the military, and that they asked for it etc…

      What this is about is a Federal Law that classes gays as second class citizens.

      Jul 19, 2011 at 8:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Art
      Art

      Without supporive leadership, we will remain “America’s most hated minority” both in the law and among the older, more conservative population. President Obama is turning 50. Do you think his support is real or just lip-service, merely political confetti?

      After the parade, I think Obama sweeps up his colorful words and throws them into the dust bin. What do you think?

      Jul 19, 2011 at 9:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      We have Bill Clinton to thank for DOMA. He signed it under pressure from Newt Gingrich’s Republicans during the 90′s. He basically surrendered to the right wing.

      Bill is now travelling the world making lots of money while we feel the effects of the vile laws that he signed.

      Jul 19, 2011 at 9:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike in London UK
      Mike in London UK

      if the PATRIOT act can do a wholesale re-write of various other acts, then why can’t the Act being put in place to revoke DADT, do a similar “top-trump” on DOMA ?

      Jul 19, 2011 at 10:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The crustybastard
      The crustybastard

      @jason:

      Bill Clinton bragged about signing DOMA while campaigning for his second term. He was neither pressured, nor did he surrender.

      Without Democrats being complicit in making bigotry federal law and policy, we’d be at least as far along as Canada by now.

      Jul 19, 2011 at 11:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dallas David
      Dallas David

      Nevertheless, it’s progress.

      When I was in the USAF, they had witch-hunts for homos. They’d promise to go easy on you if you ‘gave them names” of other gays. Then they’d kick you out anyway.

      It’s not gonna be easy, getting from where we are today to where we ought to be. Bigots will probably beat and murder some more of us, and lots of other crap will come our way. But, it’s the road we gotta travel to get to where we want to be.

      Only the brave can travel that road.

      Jul 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The crustybastard
      The crustybastard

      The continued discrimination is courtesy of the “legislative repeal”, which is why it would be better if Obama would have let the court decision stand instead of short-circuiting every iota of forward momentum we secure in the judicial system with his vanity projects.

      Jul 19, 2011 at 12:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gay Veteran
      Gay Veteran

      A win is a FUCKING win.

      And fuck all the idiot commenters who have something negative to say to gays who serve in the military.

      “Why any self respecting GLBT person believes this country is even WORTH defending is quite beyond me.”

      Would you say the same thing to a gay football player? If we follow your logic gays wouldn’t be able to do anything. We need trailblazer.. and I’m DAMN happy to be one.

      Jul 20, 2011 at 11:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Remembering Vietnam napalm
      Remembering Vietnam napalm

      Military integration is going to happen before pretty much any other right, healthcare, hospital visitation, equal funding for orgs, etc. It’s a sign that power is important in America.

      Jul 21, 2011 at 12:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shayne
      Shayne

      @Skeloric: Then get the fuck out of my country. You can’t call yourself an American when you hate it so thoroughly. I understand being frustrated with the system, but why not vote to try and make it better. This country is full of good people, the ones who call the bullshit immorality of the bigoted assholes in office and around us. Those who fight for freedom. And by freedom I don’t mean a word carelessly thrown around by republicans to support warfare. I mean freedom for the LGBT community, and for the otherwise oppressed. Freedom was the idea that we are all equal. That we all deserve happiness. Our government was built to uphold these values. I mean basically what I’m saying is you have it backwards. It’s the people fighting for change that are truly American in principle. The oppressors are the opposite of that. I would be proud to defend their right to make this place better. I would proudly defend freedom, even if it is just being won for my fellow LGBT Americans. If you can’t get past the idea that this country is not built upon a foundation of republican ideals, then you should just move to a different one. It’s like being married to a woman you believe is a fat cow. Either take her pretty smile into account or a get a divorce.

      Aug 16, 2011 at 8:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shayne
      Shayne

      @Skeloric: Then get the fuck out of my country. You can’t call yourself an American when you hate it so thoroughly. I understand being frustrated with the system, but why not vote to try and make it better. This country is full of good people, the ones who call the bullshit immorality of the bigoted assholes in office and around us. Those who fight for freedom. And by freedom I don’t mean a word carelessly thrown around by republicans to support warfare. I mean freedom for the LGBT community, and for the otherwise oppressed. Freedom was the idea that we are all equal. That we all deserve happiness. Our government was built to uphold these values. I mean basically what I’m saying is you have it backwards. It’s the people fighting for change that are truly American in principle. The oppressors are the opposite of that. I would be proud to defend their right to make this place better. I would proudly defend freedom, even if it is just being won for my fellow LGBT Americans. If you can’t get past the idea that this country is NOT built upon a foundation of republican ideals, then you should just move to a different one and quit bitching.

      Aug 16, 2011 at 8:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      I totally respect, ALL of our troops. However, it is beyond me why any LGBT person could join up. Seriously. FUCK DOMA, DADT, and all the other bigoted laws. I will not give my life for a country that obviously doesn’t give a damn about me. #totallynotpatriotic

      Aug 16, 2011 at 8:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Skeloric
      Skeloric

      Hmm, Shayne sounds like a NOM supporter, supporting this nation’s military is about as anti-American as it gets, which is pretty much what a NOM supporter would do.

      Aug 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dallas David
      Dallas David

      @Dave: Military bases are Federal Property, so it’s up to the feds whether or not to recognize a Massachusetts marriage on Sheppard AFB in Texas. Off-base, on civilian property, would be a different story.

      The military would still have lots of places to send gay couples. Most of Europe and South America, and California (soon), and the states that recognize marriage. The Navy could put ‘em out to sea.

      Most guys would still be single, and it wouldn’t be an issue until romance set in. Then if enough gay couples needed to be sent to other states, then the Pentegon could relocate operations to the gay-friendly states and shut down the surplus bases in the gay-unfriendly states.
      And everyone lives happily ever after . . .

      Sep 28, 2011 at 8:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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