Panetta Signs Memo Extending Benefits to Same-sex Partners [View all]
Source: American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2013 – Calling it “a matter of fundamental equity,” Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta today signed a memorandum to the service secretaries and the Pentagon’s top personnel official extending benefits to same-sex partners of service members.
Here is the secretary’s announcement of the policy change:
"Seventeen months ago, the United States military ended the policy of ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell.’ We have implemented the repeal of that policy and made clear that discrimination based on sexual orientation has no place in the Department of Defense.
"At the time of repeal, I committed to reviewing benefits that had not previously been available to same-sex partners based on existing law and policy. 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.
"Taking care of our service members and honoring the sacrifices of all military families are two core values of this nation. Extending these benefits is an appropriate next step under current law to ensure that all service members receive equal support for what they do to protect this nation.