In the face of mounting pressure, the Pentagon is expected to announce a shift in policy that would extend certain benefits to the same-sex spouses of military personnel, The Washington Post reports.
It’s unclear which benefits they will receive, but legal experts say there are at least 100 that the Pentagon cannot extend while the Defense of Marriage Act—the 1996 law that bars the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages—is being enforced. The Supreme Court will hear two cases challenging DOMA this spring.
The Washington Post:
The new guidelines will be departing Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta’s final imprint on the armed forces. They will also come on the heels of two landmark changes undertaken under his relatively short tenure: the rescinding of the ban on openly gay service members and the decision to allow women to serve in combat units.
Military officials have struggled with the flurry of equality dilemmas that have emerged since the ban on openly gay service troops was lifted in September 2011, following congressional repeal of the law known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
...Panetta is expected to make the announcement later this week, according to a U.S. official and a congressional aide briefed on the decision. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement has not been made.