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Originally published Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 6:47 PM

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Married same-sex military couples to get full benefits

The requirement for same-sex couples to be married is a shift for the Pentagon, which in February said full benefits would be provided to members of the military and same-sex spouses if they attested they were in a “committed relationship.”

Tribune Washington Bureau

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@kitsaper - Only a matter of time when two guys or gals who live in the barracks... MORE
It's amazing how quickly the progress has come in this area. 5 years ago I could not... MORE
So true, D A D. I noticed this shift to the financial issues a while ago, and it's just... MORE

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WASHINGTON — Same-sex military couples will qualify for full benefits, including government-provided health-care and housing allowances, as long as they are legally married, under new rules announced by the Pentagon.

The requirement to be married is a shift for the Pentagon, which in February said full benefits would be provided to members of the military and same-sex spouses if they were in a “committed relationship.”

But Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Wednesday that finding a way for unmarried, long-term couples to qualify for benefits “is no longer necessary,” since a Supreme Court ruling in June struck down a federal law that barred married same-sex couples from obtaining federal benefits.

In addition to health-care and housing benefits, the new policy will allow same-sex couples to qualify for extra compensation when a spouse in the military is deployed and unable to live at home. It will also give same-sex spouses access to base facilities, including post exchanges.

The benefit payments are retroactive to June 26, the date of the court ruling.

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