Post 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 https://secure3.convio.net/hrc/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1543.