EQUALITY – Wasting No Time – Benefits for Gay Military Spouses

My Congressman has proposed a bill to grant all the same benefits to all military spouses. One of the three largest land bases in CONUS, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, is in his district, althought of course only a few there vote in here. Current the applicable law is based on wording lifted from DOMA and precludes this.

Hoo-ah.

Smith’s bill, the Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act of 2012, would define the term “spouse” in federal laws governing military benefits as any individual who has entered into a valid marriage.

The benefits currently withheld are surviving spouse benefits, medical and dental insurance, housing, treatment in military medical facilities and free legal services. all of them are significant – treatment in military medical facilites is often the only health care available to family members overseas, and of course the suriving spouse benefits are a big one too – that’s  military retirement payments. 

This is a prefectly reasonable and predictable move, and the speed with which Congressman Smith is making it is a credit to him.

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  • wudang

    Because of VERY lucrative benefits for the spouse of someone in the army even after divorce, and especially after ten years or so of marriage, US army benefits apparently create some rather dysfunctional relationship patterns. Dannyfrom504 has some stuff to say about that:

    http://dannyfrom504.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/danny-gets-his-first-marriage-warning/

  • Ginkgo

    wudang, interesting link. hat usually gets dismissed as “Army wife, toughest job in the world.” In a way it’s valid, since it is a particularly stressful kind of life. The way it was when my wofe divocrced me was that she was entitled to the retirement that had accrued while we were married, not half of the entire amount. She made a point of not making any claim on that, mainly because she’s just like that, but also because she had her won career and her own retirement and didn’t want to feel beholden perhaps. But she was entitled to the three years or so of it she had coming to her.