US: Pentagon announces that all states are now in compliance with equal benefits regulations
The Pentagon has now confirmed that all 50 US states are in compliance with a directive to allow benefits to same-sex military couples, despite some states initially refusing to do so.
Several National Guards in some states had declined to process the benefits, including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia, however gradually they have one by one agreed to provide the benefits IDs at state facilities to the same-sex spouses of military members.
The announcement was made by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, on Friday.
The 3 September saw the benefits kick in. The Defense Department had announced that couples in same-sex marriages performed in states where it is legal would be recognised as legally married, following the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), back in June.
In an October speech, Hagel had said that couples were put at a disadvantage by being denied the IDs in some states.
Last week also saw the first day on which military service members could apply for special leave of up to ten days to allow same-sex couples to travel to a US state where equal marriage is legal, in order to marry.