HRC Blog

HRC to Secretary Leon Panetta: Act Now to Issue Military IDs to All Spouses and Partners

MilitaryPost submitted by Dan Rafter, Former HRC Associate Director of Communications

HRC is calling on Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to immediately allow all military spouses access to a military ID. Despite the implementation of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal, military regulations still prevent same-sex spouses from receiving a military ID – thereby denying them equal access to a wide range of on-base benefits and amenities.

HRC’s members and supports can call on Secretary Panetta to take action and immediately order, through the stroke of his pen, all same-sex spouses to have access to a military ID. The action is available here.

The issue is particularly relevant because a U.S. Army spokesperson recently backed a decision by a spousal association at Fort Bragg to deny admittance to the same-sex wife of an Army officer. The Marine Corps Commandant, meanwhile, took the exemplary step of instructing clubs at all Marine bases to welcome same-sex spouses as a condition of continued operation on Marine installations.

During Panetta’s tenure at the Pentagon, he became the first Secretary of Defense to record a Pride message for gay and lesbian service members. And just today, Panetta lifted a controversial ban on women in combat, a move that will allow female service members to serve on the front lines of battle. Panetta now has a final opportunity to continue advancing equality - access to military ID cards can be granted to same-sex spouses and partners through regulatory revisions, without running afoul of the Defense of Marriage Act.  

HRC’s action calling on Secretary Panetta to green light IDs for same-sex military spouses can be accessed at

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