- August 14, 2013
Today the Department of Defense (DOD) announced it will fully comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) by treating all marriages by service members equally. Notably, DOD will recognize any same-sex marriage that is valid where celebrated, regardless of where a service member is stationed.
“It is now the Department’s policy to treat all married military personnel equally,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a memo to secretaries of the military departments.
In addition, recognizing that many service members are stationed in states or countries in which marriage equality does not exist, the Pentagon will allow seven days of leave for service members who need to travel more than 100 miles to legally marry, and up to 10 days of leave for service members stationed outside the continental United States.
“This will provide accelerated access to the full range of benefits offered to married military couples throughout the department and help level the playing field between opposite-sex and same-sex couples seeking to be married,” wrote Hagel.
Currently, 13 states, plus the District of Columbia, have marriage equality laws on the books.