According to the Pentagon, changes need to be made in certain areas as a direct result of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal last week. With the legal enlistment of gay soldiers, there are certain rules and regulations that need to be revisited.
Among the top questions that need to be addressed are the benefits given to gay servicemen and women, and their partners. Since gay marriage is only currently legal in 6 out of our 50 states, it poses a problem to equal rights.
Could the legalization of gay marriage soon follow?
As fellow Strollerderby blogger Carolyn Castiglia wrote about the how much the repeal will help gay teens, it might also indirectly help countless children that are growing up with gay parents to finally become a legally recognized family. And the ramifications of that would undoubtedly have a ripple effect.
The Department of Defense may consider creating a “qualifying relationship” status for same-sex relationships, or for both same-sex and unmarried opposite-sex relationships. There are certain benefits that, given current law, cannot legally be extended to same-sex partners. Legal limitations include, for example, the small number of jurisdictions in the United States in which gay men and lesbians are legally permitted to marry or obtain legal recognition of their relationship. Changes to the Defense of Marriage Act would change the legal and regulatory definition of “spouse” upon which the Department of Defense and Services currently rely to determine eligibility. Likewise, Federal legislation redefining “dependent” to include a same-sex partner, or child of a same-sex partner, would broaden benefit eligibility.
Until gay marriage is legalized in all 50 states, it’s doubtful that any kind of equality for gay military men and women will be reached. The Atlantic points out the dichotomy of recognizing gay military personnel without recognizing their partners.
“Those folks are barred by the federal Defense of Marriage Act from receiving some of the benefits that opposite-sex partners or opposite-sex spouses would receive from the military.”
Do you think DADT will help push along gay marriage?