By the Numbers - July 1, 2013

By the Numbers - July 1, 2013

The number of same-sex couples "in the active-duty force," according to a recent Army Times article, Supreme Court strikes down DOMA. The Supreme Court's June 26 decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act clears the way for married same-sex servicemember partners to access more than 100 different military benefits currently available to married couples, including military health care coverage, on-base housing, paying for the spouse who accompanies a military member "on a permanent change of station move."

The 2011 repeal of the Don't Ask Don't Tell Act previously opened up 24 different benefits to same-sex military couples by October of this year, such as "hospital visitation and Family Readiness Group membership" and including military ID cards, commissary privileges, child care and youth programs, and sexual assault counseling, according to a February 13 DoD press release.

On June 26, Defense Secretary Hagel issued the following statement regarding the repeal of DOMA:

The Department of Defense welcomes the Supreme Court's decision today on the Defense of Marriage Act. The department will immediately begin the process of implementing the Supreme Court's decision in consultation with the Department of Justice and other executive branch agencies. The Department of Defense intends to make the same benefits available to all military spouses -- regardless of sexual orientation -- as soon as possible. That is now the law and it is the right thing to do.

Every person who serves our nation in uniform stepped forward with courage and commitment. All that matters is their patriotism, their willingness to serve their country, and their qualifications to do so. Today's ruling helps ensure that all men and women who serve this country can be treated fairly and equally, with the full dignity and respect they so richly deserve.

Meanwhile, the status of gay veteran couples is "up in the air," according to an MSNBC article, since "veteran’s benefits aren’t administered by the Department of Defense, they’re administered by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs."