Tuesday, February 05, 2013

BREAKING NEWS: Pentagon to extend (some) benefits to same sex military spouses!

This just in from the Washington Post:

The Pentagon has decided to extend certain benefits to the spouses of gay and lesbian personnel, according to officials and people notified about the decision, responding to the increasingly vocal appeals of same-sex couples in the military.

The military expects to announce the decision later this week.

Read the rest here

What a wonderful andidote to this awful story from yesterday about the wife of a solidier killed in Afghanistan who couldn't even get back the wedding ring from her dead wife because they were a same sex couple:

When her spouse was killed in Afghanistan, Tracy Johnson drove across town to her mother-in-law’s house — clutching her marriage certificate — so she could hear the Army’s formal notification. No one from the military came to her door.

She later watched as the American flag that cloaked the coffin of her spouse, Donna Johnson, was offered, not to her, but to Donna Johnson’s mother – the next of kin, as U.S. law stipulates. She was denied death benefits, she said, that are standard issue to heterosexual spouses of service members who die in action: free health care, tuition assistance, and monthly indemnity compensation of about $1,200.

And then there was the ring. On Valentine’s Day 2012, Tracy Johnson placed that band on her wife's finger during their marriage ceremony in Washington, D.C. Last October, as Johnson escorted her wife's body home from Dover Air Force Base, the Army asked Johnson to carry the wedding ring, designated as a “personal effect.” After arriving in Fayetteville, N.C., Johnson was obliged, by a federal statute, to deliver the ring to an Army officer who then provided it to Donna Johnson’s mother who, in turn, gave it back to Tracy Johnson. She wears it on her finger today.

Read that one here ... and give thanks that the arc of history appears to be bending just a LITTLE closer to justice.

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