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.
Think Progress reports:
The Obama administration has announced that it will not defend laws that prevent married same-sex couples from obtaining military benefits. In a letter to Congress today, Attorney General Eric Holder argued, “[t]he legislative record of these provisions contains no rationale for providing veterans’ benefits to opposite-sex couples of veterans but not to legally married same-sex spouses of veterans … Neither the Department of Defense nor the Department of Veterans Affairs identified any justifications for that distinction that would warrant treating these provisions differently from Section 3 of DOMA.”
Currently, the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act prevents federal agencies from recognizing same-sex relationships and Title 38 of the United States Code defines spouses as a person of the opposite sex. Holder added that Congress would “be provided a ‘full and fair opportunity’ to defend the statues in the McLaughlin v. Panetta case if they wished to do so.”
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