WASHINGTON, D.C. — Defense Department officials will move forward in making benefits available to all military spouses, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said today in a statement issued after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which had prevented federal agencies from offering all of the same benefits to spouses in same-sex married couples that they provide to other spouses.
“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.”