House Introduces Bill Extending Benefits To Same-Sex Military Couples

A new congressional bill, HR 6046, or the Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act of 2012 (MSET), would change the definition of “spouse” to enable same-sex partners of military personnel and veterans to obtain essential benefits, including insurance, housing allowances and survivor benefits.

“The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell exposes certain inequalities between similarly situated couples in the military community,” said Department of Defense General Counsel Jeh Johnson. “This troubles many of our leaders,” said Johnson. Introduced by House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA), the bill would affect Titles 10, 32 and 38 to the U.S. Code challenged in the Service Members Legal Defense Network’s lawsuit, McLaughlin v. U.S.

“Our nation’s senior military leaders and commanders on the ground are increasingly uncomfortable with administering two classes of recognition, support and benefits for our nation’s service members – one for straight service members and a different one for their gay and lesbian peers,” said SLDN) Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis. “There cannot be two classes of service members, and this legislation addresses that effectively.”

We might have won the battle over Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,  but it’s clear the war is far from over.



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  • Michael Bedwell

    As I documented in the earlier thread about the Pentagon Pride event, Johnson is NOT our friend. Not only did he conspicuously choose NOT to identify himself as ONE of those leaders troubled by ongoing inequities yesterday but is one of the architects of many of those inequities? Why praise the fox for how he runs the chicken house?

  • Dave

    As a retired and married gay man, I knew that once the bud bloomed the rose would have to follow. It was just a natural progression that the bubble of inequality would have to burst in the benefits for those joining in legal marriage states as that is your state of residence for your entire active duty career unless you choose to change it.

  • Hyhybt

    I don’t see any way this would pass… but it’s good to see certain factions forced to choose between two ways they love to paint themselves: unwaveringly supportive of the military, and against any recognition of gay couples.

  • Kendra Springer

    how could this not pass, its blunt discrimination against gay people. its like putting a cake infront of a fat kid and saying you can LOOK at it but you cant eat it. its th same as repealing d.a.d.t and then not giving the same benifits as a straight couple. its rediculous. it was only a matter of time before this came up. I really hope as a military silent signfigant other Of the marine corps if actually got benifits we would have more motovation to get married. man i would givemy left leg for this to go thru!

  • Daez

    @Kendra Springer: It will never leave the House as long as the Republicans control it. The Republicans only put one thing before the armed forces and that is sanctimonious bullshit religion. Therefore, they will never let this one reach the Senate. If this House had to vote on DADT repeal, it would never pass that either.

  • jwrappaport

    @Daez: Agreed 100%. This is a symbolic gesture – an important one that forces the hawks to confront their own hypocrisy, but ultimately one that will not likely gain any traction with politicians in whom there is already deafening cognitive dissonance.

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