The question I get is about benefits. And there are some benefits, clearly, that are—that accrue to the change which has already taken place, and there are other benefits which are brought up which are directly tied to DOMA, which is the Defense of Marriage Act, which is a law in the country—and we follow the law. And until—if and when that changes—I mean, we’ll follow whatever law is out there. Right now—so there are benefits that DOMA has tied up by virtue of what—the details that it specifically lays out and so until that changes, there’s not going to be any change to the benefits… From my perspective, the major issue with respect to integrity had to do with the need to cover up your life with—lie about who you were, lie about your personal relationships, constantly—as a way of life. And to me, that’s fundamentally different from whether benefit A, B or C should be given to certain individuals.”
– Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen saying that the military will continue denying benefits to the legally married partners of gay service members, as dictated by the Defense of Marriage Act, even though “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has been repealed.
Yeah, it’s never been about equality or fairness for the few brass who did support repeal.
I asked one of the major mil spouse group leaders about this and her response was: “The country can’t afford that right now.”
Gee, thanks. Imagine the outrage if anyone dared suggested the country can’t afford her benefits.
Somehow all the fuzz of DADT and DOMA and all the other words made of initials makes me think of this http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xjfb87_lovex-u-s-a_music
So… why is this presented as if it were their decision? DOMA remains law. DOMA prohibits the federal government from recognizing gay marriages. The military (last I checked) is part of the federal government. The law needs to be changed, but in the meantime they’re as stuck with it as anyone else, and what they’d LIKE is irrelevant.
DOMA will get repealed as unconstitutional before it’s over with. I’m not too worried about it.
We should be worried about it. DADT discriminated against our rights to talk about who we are while serving in the military. DOMA discriminates against our rights to live our lives while serving in the military. Why should one servicemember receive benefits such as a house on base and spousal medical care but another be denied those benefits? Imagine a marine transferred to Okinawa. If she is married to a man, she gets a house on base and medical care for her husband. If she is married to a woman, she doesn’t! LGBT servicemembers are subject to the same orders and hardships. We may be able to serve openly now, but we are still denied the benefits that make it possible to serve and have a family. I was in the Navy for six years. There is no way I could have afforded to pay for my husband’s medical insurance and the additional cost of housing him if I had been married and had been transferred overseas. Enlisted pay was hardly enough to get by on my own! Under the current set up, LGBT soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines will have to listen at morning quarters every day about how their straight counterparts are getting family separation allowance, base housing, commissary privileges, health care, and numerous other benefits that make it possible to support a family while serving in the military, and will therefore face open discrimination by the government they serve every single day of their service. Getting to serve openly is a huge step, but it is just the first one!
SOLUTION: restructure employment benefits so they’re NOT conditioned on heterosexual identity or heterosexual activity.
Shouldn’t be setup that way anyway. It’s not professionally relevant.
A member of the armed forces stands to lose up to $250,000 over his/her career because the pay and benefits you get with an opposite-sex spouse are cut almost in half when you have a same-sex spouse. Here’s what the 13 presidential candidates plan to do about it: http://www.marriageequality.org/Election2012
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