Navy to Offer Military Benefits for Same-Sex Couples

According to a recent Navy News report, the Navy will begin training  leadership and support elements to be ready to provide military benefits to same-sex domestic partners of servicemembers and their children. These eligibility changes for same-sex couples are set to begin August 31.

“Extending these benefits reinforces the principle that all those who volunteer to serve are treated with dignity and respect and ensured fairness and equal treatment to the extent allowable under law,” said Rear Adm. Tony Kurta, director military plans and policy.

The new benefits for same-sex couples will include the following:

–  Dependent ID cards (DD Form 1173) which will be renewed in accordance with existing policies.

–  Commissary and Exchange Privileges.

–  Access to Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR).

–  Space-Available Travel on DoD Aircraft.

–  Joint duty assignment (collocation) for dual-military partners.

–  Access to Legal Assistance.

–  Access to most Family Center Programs.

–  Access to child and youth programs. This includes child care, youth programs and youth sponsorship.

–  Emergency leave and emergency leave of absence for the military member to attend to partner emergencies.

–  Access to sexual assault counseling program. Emergency care provided; additional care determined by medical eligibility.

–  Exemption from hostile-fire areas for dual-military if partner is killed in a combat zone.

–  Transportation to and from certain places of employment and on military installations.

–  Transportation to and from Primary and Secondary school for minor dependents.

–  Disability and death compensation: dependents of members held as captives.

–  Payments to missing person.

–  Authorization to participate in surveys of military families, including the quadrennial quality of life review.

–  Authority of Service Secretary to transport remains of a dependent.

Read the full article on Military.com News.

About the Author

Terry Howell
Before becoming the Managing Editor for Military.com, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.

67 Comments on "Navy to Offer Military Benefits for Same-Sex Couples"

  1. Another episode of the parallel universe……. Gee, can I get benefits for my goldfish?

  2. Retirees can't get the benefits promised, but non-family members can…hello!?

  3. @jimmy

    There is no god…get over it.

  4. retired462 | June 7, 2013 at 8:31 am |

    The prez's wife can take over 100 political hacks to Europe on a USAF plane; now this. When can I get to take my girlfried on a space-a flight?

  5. Why is this policy just limited to same sex partners?

  6. Man I wish I was still on active duty ! I could marry one of my freinds from back home, bring him out, hook him up with the bennies, and get to set up a party shack off-base. Separate rats w/dependents, BAQ, and no more hassels of living in the barracks. SWEEETT!!!

  7. If you want someone to list to your opinion and take you seriously, learn to use spell check or a dictionary.

  8. Jose Maria | June 7, 2013 at 12:30 pm |

    This is rediculous! What has become of our Armed Forces! We have let the Liberals TAKE over our country and now our Military too!

  9. “Extending these benefits reinforces the principle that all those who volunteer to serve are treated with dignity and respect and ensured fairness and equal treatment to the extent allowable under law,” said Rear Adm. Tony Kurta, director military plans and policy.

    I challenge you to educate yourself sir.

    Conduct Unbecoming: Gays & Lesbians in the U.S. Military By Randy Shilts
    ISBN:0-312-09261-X St Martin's Press | New York 1993

  10. What about a man or a woman who wants more than one husband or wife they will be discriminated….this is how topsy turvy the world is getting. Where is the money coming from for all the extra dependents on the system. The military has a hard time keeping up with the ones already on the sheets.

  11. Good to see. They deal with the exact same hardships and sacrifices and same sex spouses. Proud of the Navy for realizing that.. Great picture too.

  12. Apparently our education system is more "screwed up" than anything if you are a product of it. You're right about one thing though, nobody cares about what the Bible says in regards to policy. People should be able to incorporate any of it's values into their lives they choose to, but as this is the United States it should not have any bearing on the policies of our nation and military. If you'd rather a theocracy there are plenty of those to choose from.

  13. Absolutely your right to have that opinion… How though, does it affect you?

  14. Just A Sinner | June 7, 2013 at 2:45 pm |

    @ IL logical – "God is angry with the wicked every day" from Psalm 7:11
    and "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." from Psalm 9:17
    Our nation has forgotten God.
    "We are not (any longer) a Christian nation." – 0
    We were founded as a Christian nation, but the left is intolerant.

  15. lezmparmyvet | June 7, 2013 at 3:57 pm |

    Not states allow gay marriage or should I say Civil Union, where as all states allow Marriage for heterosexuals. I'm sorry I did my service to this Country, to keep all of you were you are being able to speak this way, and I am a lesbian. So what just because I am a lesbian served this country, just the way any gay or lesbian or even straight person in this country, I don't deserve the right to be who I am and I do not deserve the same benefits with my partner and our son that any one else deserves while serving. I'm sorry, when your in the Army you don't worry about what sexual orientation the person next to you is, all you worry about it you and him/her and the rest of your brothers and sisters from your unit getting back home. I think this is a great benefit and wish it did this when I was fighting.

  16. Combat veteran | June 7, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
  17. Joe Louis | June 8, 2013 at 11:20 pm |

    If this nonsense is part of the Army future, I don't want to be part of it.
    Where is the dignity, the honor, the moral.
    Disgusting!!!

  18. I'm all in favor of requiring women to sign up for selective service. But are you seriously suggesting that the military lower the physical requirements for combat positions? How about special forces? Do you know how dangerous that is? It's wonderful that women are now granted the opportunity to fight in combat, but they absolutely should be able to meet the same physical standards as their male counterparts. If you want to throw a woman on the field who can barely lift 100 pounds just to satisfy your bloodlust, get real. You'll end up getting more men killed in the process.

    All women now have equal opportunity to die in combat, but equal opportunity does not mean equal outcome. The fact is, most women are physically weaker and cannot meet the standards for combat. Until we invent battle suits that can overcome the strength gap, there will always be more men than women in combat positions.

  19. Airman21706 | June 10, 2013 at 8:33 am |

    So when did you serve again and if you didn't serve do feel quite free to shut up. Have a wonderful day!

  20. olesalt_2000 | June 10, 2013 at 3:11 pm |

    Doesn't this have to be approved by Congress before the military branches can put it into effect?

  21. I retired in 1975, completing 20 years of service including two combat tours in Vietnam. And for what? This kind of BS? What is wrong with people today? Our current leadership is sick. All of them, from the top down. God help us all!

  22. So if I'm living with my Navy partner and have been but I do not have any rights, but you are going to give rights to same sex partners. Not being equal id not fair.

  23. It is perfectly okay for same gender partners to be covered why couldn't I have same for my sister or brother who was in need?
    You can't make it okay for them and not approve it for me and others like me and how about those who are hetero who are not married but just living together?
    Why does it always have to be special accommodation for the gay community?
    .

  24. SICK what the HELL is the U S MILITARY coming to.

  25. Idmtmedic | June 10, 2013 at 9:33 pm |

    Normal? Denying it is happening is not "normal". Gay people exist, are real and denying it because they want to be Is ridiculous.

  26. Why can't I post something without it getting immediately deleted. Is it possibly because I don't agree with the majority of insensitive people who regularly leave ridiculous comments?

  27. Is it because of my anti-religion stance? That can be the only answer. Maybe the moderator has been brainwashed by religion and cannot let anyone with a different point of view make their case. We all know that the problems that America faces with homosexuality is deeply rooted in religion and religion alone.

  28. Equality rules it states so in our constitutions! Get over your homophobic attitudes

  29. How many time each year can a Military person CHANGE Domestic Partners?

  30. Navy Chief | June 10, 2013 at 10:25 pm |

    So can my girlfriend get the same as a domestic partner? If not that's not right

  31. limits: one benefit only in a lifetime for one heterosexual marriage partner or one gay domestic union partnership (and up to and including only two kids in calculating BHA). Divorce and the second one you are on your own. No "marriage of convenience" circumventing Congress' intent.

  32. This is Sodom & Gomorrah all over again!!!

  33. Homosexuality is found in the wild. It's everywhere. Nobody forces anything on you. Stop forcing your bigotry on the gays.

  34. My husband is getting furloughed so non-family members get benefits??!! Not to mention being retired of 23 years they get more benefits than we do as retirees?? Just not right!!

  35. i was going to read the rest of mil.com but this just sickened me, we need to go back to the 1900,s more morality. these people need counseling or put out of military

  36. jimmymishoe92 | June 11, 2013 at 4:52 pm |

    how many times i got to say no no no no no no no no no you people are polluting the world with sorry morale go straght your girl or what ever i man

  37. I totally disagree with this decision. These couples are committing a sin against God…an abomination. The Navy supporting them is absolutely wrong.

  38. No They kicked you out because you where a shitbag who could not make rank!

  39. Unless the same sex partners are legally married, they should not get the benefits. And if they do they should provide them for opposite sex partnership as well……

  40. bill38011 | June 12, 2013 at 3:39 am |

    Seems like most of the negative comments come from the old-timers. Like with all the polls on this subject, it's simply not much of an issue with the younger men and women.

  41. In the past couples always had to be married. Domestic partners were never considered dependents whether straight or gay or anything else. This decision is wrong because it is not consistent or fair, unless they start covering ALL domestic partners. In which case they would have to go back and add all those years to domestic partners who were not compensated. With the budget, I don't think they can afford this, so we are told.

  42. If you are going to give benefits to NON married partners, great, if your going to give benefits to only GAY NON married partners, I call BS.

  43. Until such time as a FEDERAL law permitting same sex marriage is passed, this is a complete waste of time. I don't want the military being the politically-correct leader. It's bad enough the Navy pays a HUGE premium for "green" jet fuel simply to be pc.

  44. Scpo retired | June 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm |

    This is pure garbage. I cannot get dental work, Medical is not free as promised, no eye prescriptions outside the base, because it costs too much. Yet, the lowlife politicians are now going to pay for some gays to live together. Where are the mores of the politicians? What is to stop two guys (hetros) from saying they are gay just to get benefits? It is another case of payoffs, I fear, by the glbt folks.

  45. SCPO Stan | June 12, 2013 at 4:41 pm |

    Don't we really have to wait to see if the Supreme Court strikes down DOMA? If they do, married couples only. I have no problem with "EQUAL" benefits.

  46. This- like so many things in the military makes no sense and will cost the taxpayers billions of dollars. But send me out on furlough??? Where is this magic basket of money been hiding? I get no raises, put on furlough, work for the DOD and then they choose to do this with the money saved off my back? A personal (morally wrong decision) should not get corporate support like this. All veterans who have served honorably are rolling in their graves and only ones who choose to be PC will support this sinful course of action.

  47. I can see it now. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry will be signing up to get benefits and maybe CLAIMING to be gay for the extra bucks. This decision has opened a PANDORA's BOX for the Navy. Our politico's have turned our GREAT NATIONAL DEFENSE into a pansy filled service. They are forcing SOCIAL EXPERIMENTS on our Navy when the primary reason for our military is to be at the ready to KILL PEOPLE and DESTROY THINGS in defense of our country. I am happy that I retired before having to participate in the pansification of our Great Navy.

    AMHC(AW) Retired

  48. "Ex-Navy SEAL writes book about coming out as a woman"
    "Navy to offer benefits to same-sex couples"
    "Two Star relieved in sexual assault investigation"
    "McCain advises women to avoid the military"

    These are the first 4 articles in a "military news" outlet.

    WTF is wrong with this picture??

  49. Opposing individuals to the change that will transpire, life evolves with or without your consent. I'm glad the US Military is being a leader in this matter. I salute the President for his admirable actions.

    PN1(Retired)

  50. I have supported this President on many fronts. Now I feel "backdoored" this is really dugusting. I spent 26 years making this country safe for draft dodgers and wimps to set on the sidelines and complain about military benefits. Now those same people are making laws that will stain the Navy I served forever. What did I miss, I know submarine life is long working hours, hectic living conditions and sleep (?) . I delivered several babies while Active Duty and worked in the Nursery and pediatrics. I also worked in vital statictics, I never saw "GAY" as a sex of a child. Where did this new sex come from. Finally I was alwys proud to be an Eagle Scout, who tell their children that they are not a "Boy" not a "Girl" they are GAY. The worst drout in 300 years, The worst Tornado destruction ever, The summers are hotter, floods more devastating, Man is becoming more cruel. Are these the last days…I am starting to hope so "I hate so see what we do next"

  51. SCPO retired | June 12, 2013 at 6:11 pm |

    I am a retired senior chief. I don't see what you are all getting so upset about. Nobody is getting any less or more benefits than anyone else. With marriage to a service member comes benefits that we all enjoy and need. Relax and enjoy the ride..Nobody is kicking you off the bus. Personally I am glad we are at the forefront of recognizing the equality of all our service members, and will be treating them equally.

  52. BM3 Moore | June 12, 2013 at 6:12 pm |

    So does this mean that they will get medical coverage for getting sick from aids if they get it. As a tax payer I really don't want to have to pay for medical coverage for someone living an immoral life style.

  53. If same sex couples can now receive benefits, though unmarried, then the next logical step is to provide unmarried heterosexual couples with those additional benefits. If the DoD thinks personnel costs are too high now, then wait until it has to start paying for the additional benefits incurred as a result of such short-sighted, albeit politically correct, decisions. Does anyone logically believe the DoD can bear up under such an expected heavy financial load without compromising the mission of the military services? I don't think so.

  54. HMCS/USN(Ret) | June 12, 2013 at 9:32 pm |

    I get so discouraged when I see some of these above comments. I retired last August following 39+ years of active/reserve service. My partner of 18 years is several years from his 20-year reserve retirement. We live in New York State — but are awaiting the DOMA decision before deciding to get married. The difference between gay & straight couples in non-marriage states is that straight couples have the option to marry if they so wish. During my partners year-long 2009-2010 mobilization to Afghanistan I had all of the daily worries & concerns which any spouse has during a combat deployment — but I had none of the family support resources which have been available to 'traditional families'. If you look closely at the history of both the civil rights & women's movements — you will realize that the US Military has been at the forefront of change in society. Those of you who use our Christian Scriptures to condemn homosexuality & justify denial of equal rights are no different from those who used Scripture to justify slavery, discrimination, segregated military, and keeping women 'barefoot & pregnant'. Society is moving on and you are being left in the dust. Those of us who are Gay & Lesbian military families serve, suffer & grieve and deserve no less than any other service family.

  55. SICK bastards the Navy has become, to think the old timers used to bitch about Zumwalt! HA!!!!!

    Just one more thing the bastard in the WH SNAFUed

  56. Failedreason | June 12, 2013 at 11:52 pm |

    Since when did same sex marriage become an equal rights issue? Every man and woman has the same equal right to marry someone of the opposite sex. If it's really about equality, as many argue, then the same argument can be made to support incest, polygamy, etc.

  57. Robert Masters. | June 13, 2013 at 8:20 am |

    It's about time . . . ! I've been sitting, watching this debate go on for far too many years and it's time has come; it's time for this nation, this military to change. Our society and culture are constantly evolving, and we've got to leave the old prejudices behind. I'm glad that the Navy has taken this step to give same-sex partners the benefits that other "married" couples are allowed. One of my most favorite people, my sister-in-law, is a lesbian, and I truly believe had the military been different in her time then she would've made one hell of a sailor! Kudos to those who finally took the initiative to put this into effect.
    Robert L. Masters Sr., QMC (SW), USN (Ret.)

  58. This truly ticks me off. If they are gonna get benefits then couples of opposite sex you lives together should be treated the same way and give all the benefits the gays are being offered!!!!!!!!!!!!! Liberals disgust me! Liberals are destroying our Military and our Country! All you have to do is look at any Liberal State and/or City and the proof is in their taxes, budgets and communist laws!

  59. So do same sex couples get to sleep next to each other in a bunk room aboard ship? How' bout hetero-sexual couples aboard a ship? Do they have a married bunkroom like they have married dorms? Just askin…

  60. The Navy is going to give "partners" benifits? At the same time the DoD is laying-off all Dod employees eleven days this summer. What great leadership we have at the DoD!!!

  61. SKCS Smith | July 2, 2013 at 10:37 am |

    I proudly served my country for 26 years. My partner was with me all the way, but we could not disclose our relationship. She was my biggest supporter. She always made sure my uniform was inspection ready. She was as proud as I was to serve in the Navy. We did not get to enjoy any benefits that a hetero-sexual couple received. We accepted the way the Navy was run, even if we did not agree with everything. I'm very proud to have served and extremely proud that the Navy is leading the way for equal benefits for all. God made me the way i am and he loves me, just as I am.

  62. Patty AO1 | July 4, 2013 at 4:36 pm |

    Why not? Life is better when you have a partner. Shouldn't matter if that partner is of the same or opposite sex. If someone is gainfully employed, pays their taxes, and abides by the law…is there something wrong with that? 100 years from now it isn't going to matter.

  63. Congrats to the Navy. We are finally catching up with the rest of the civilized world where branches of the armed forces have recognized and given equal benefits to same-sex spouses for many years. The voices of the reTIRED are fading and the voice of a new generation is rising up – a stronger Navy is on the horizon.

  64. Pamela Nowlin | July 24, 2014 at 9:43 am |

    What about hetero-sexual domestic partners? Are they going to be covered also?

Comments are closed.