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Pentagon extends military spouse benefits to same-sex married couples

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel outlined a new policy to 'treat all married military personnel equally,' including providing 10 days' paid leave for same-sex couples to travel to a state where gay marriage is legal.

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Joan Darrah (l.), who served nearly 30 years in the US Navy, and her spouse, Lynne Kennedy, pose for a photo at their home in Alexandria, Va., on June 27, a day after the US Supreme Court's ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act. With that ruling, same-sex spouses of gay veterans and service members will be able to share in their benefits.

Charles Dharapak/AP/File

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The Pentagon announced Wednesday that it will now extend benefits, including health insurance and base housing, to same-sex spouses of US troops.

The decision comes on the heels of a US Supreme Court ruling in June overturning the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which said that under federal law a marriage meant between a man and a woman.

“It is now the Department’s policy to treat all married military personnel equally,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a memo.

 
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