Department of Defense clarifies rules on military benefits for gay couples

“The Department of Defense remains committed to ensuring that all men and women who serve our country and their families are treated fairly and equally,” the memo states. “Expeditious implementation of the decision announced in the memorandum will help the department remain true to that commitment.”

Perhaps the most interesting part of the DOD’s announcement was that it will make available leave for soldiers who live in states that do not allow same-sex marriages to travel to jurisdictions that allow such unions.

“We recognize that same-sex couples not stationed in a jurisdiction that permits same-sex marriage would have to travel to another jurisdiction to marry,” Hagel continued. “Accordingly, the Department will implement policies to allow military personnel in such a relationship non-chargeable leave for the purpose of traveling to a jurisdiction where such a marriage may occur.”

Read Hagel’s full memo: