Video: Pentagon highlights extension of benefits to same-sex military couples

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The US Department of Defense has released a video which highlights a case study of a same-sex military couple receiving equal benefits, following a change in policy earlier this month.

The video, posted yesterday by the Pentagon shows still images of same-sex US Military couples around the world holding their new ID cards, and signs which read: “Finally recognized”.

It notes the strike-down of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, which for years banned gay members of the US Military from serving openly, and the repeal of which was signed into law by President Obama in December 2010.

The video goes on to note that earlier this month, equal benefits for same-sex military spouses were extended, including a policy which allows same-sex couples leave to travel to a state where equal marriage is legal.

The description on the video reads: “On September 3, 2013, the Department of Defense officially extended spousal and family benefits to same-sex couples. Here’s the story of a couple utilizing those benefits.”

One of the pair featured in the video, Jonathan Beebe Franqie, who is married to Senior Chief Dwayne, says: “This is a huge step forward because if you look back at history, every advancement in human rights for people has started in the military.”

The Defense Department had announced that couples in same-sex marriages performed in states where it is legal would be recognised as legally married, following the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), back in June.

3 September also saw the first day on which military service members could apply for special leave of up to ten days to allow same-sex couples to travel to a US state where equal marriage is legal, in order to marry.