Pentagon OKs benefits for same-sex spouses

Pentagon OKs benefits for same-sex spouses

Credit: Associated Press

Pentagon OKs benefits for same-sex spouses

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Associated Press & 13News Now

Posted on August 14, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 14 at 12:53 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon says it will make health care, housing and other benefits available to same-sex spouses of military members by Sept. 3.

The Pentagon said Wednesday that it reached the decision after consulting with the Justice Department, following the Supreme Court's ruling in June on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.

The benefits will be made available to same-sex spouses as long as the service member provides a valid marriage certificate. Entitlements such as TRICARE enrollment, basic allowance for housing (BAH) and family separation allowance are retroactive to the date of the Supreme Court's decision. Any claims to entitlements before that date will not be granted. For those members married after June 26, 2013, entitlements begin at the date of marriage.

Military personnel in a same-sex relationship who are stationed in a state that does not permit same-sex marriage will be allowed to take leave for travel to a jurisdiction where they can marry legally.

AP-WF-08-14-13 1632GMT

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