DOJ Announces Banning Same-Sex Military Spouse Benefits is Unconstitutional
The Obama Department of Justice has announced that current laws which ban same-sex military spouses from receiving military and veteran benefits will no longer be defended as they “contain no rationale for providing veterans’ benefits to opposite-sex couples of veterans but not to legally married same-sex spouses of veterans.”
This move may sound minor and convoluted, but this is the exact maneuver that led to Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’s eventual repeal. First the Department of Justice declared it to be unconstitutional, which began a scrutinized legal scuffle, and public pressure urging Congress to repeal the law banning LGBT military personnel.
As Holder writes, the benefits in question “include medical and dental benefits, basic housing allowances, travel and transportation allowances, family separation benefits, military identification cards, visitation rights in military hospitals, survivor benefits, and the right to be buried together in military cemeteries.”
Attorney General Eric Holder goes so far as to mention DOMA in his letter to Speaker Boehner, perhaps setting up the next domino to be knocked down by the Obama administration.
This is absolutely fantastic news for thousands of LGBT Americans in the armed forces, and further proof that President Obama has been making a calculated effort to bring full LGBT equality to our country since taking office.