Pentagon to Extend Benefits to Same-Sex Military Couples

Same-sex military spouses are set to get a new range of federal benefits, a senior official told NBC News on Tuesday. The Defense Department is expected to announce Wednesday that legally married same-sex couples will be offered the same privileges and programs given to legally married straight military couples, including benefits linked to healthcare and housing, according to the official. In addition, military personnel stationed in one of the 37 states where same-sex marriage is not legal will get up to 10 days of leave during which they can travel to one of the 13 states, plus Washington, D.C., where it is legal. The benefits could start as soon as Sept. 3, the official said. The Pentagon has been one of the U.S. government agencies to respond most swiftly to the Supreme Court's decision striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, implementing policy changes immediately after the ruling.

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