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Gay Military Spouses Left Out In The Cold, Even After ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal

Gay spoused in the military do not receive any benefits.

Being a military spouse is challenging. When your spouse gets deployed, you are left alone, often with children, and often away from the support of family. When your spouse gets orders to move, you move, regardless of what that means for your personal life. As a military spouse, one of the things that provides support is the military community of resources. Help is made readily available in areas such as finance, food, clothing, counseling, and fellowship.

But for spouses of gay military members, the transitions and challenges can be much, much worse.

Nakisha Hardy spent the first nine months of her marriage deployed in Afghanistan. When she returned home, she and her spouse — like many other military couples — struggled to re-acclimate to life together. When First Lt. Hardy went to her Army’s posts chapel for help, she signed up for a marriage retreat designed to help couples with the tolls of deployment.

After arriving at the retreat, however, Hardy and her spouse were asked to leave.

“I felt hurt, humiliated,” said Lieutenant Hardy, 28. “These were people I had been deployed with. And they were telling me I can go to fight the war on terrorism with them, but I can’t attend a seminar with them to keep my marriage healthy.”

While gay marriage is legal in some states, it is not federally recognized, and therefore many of the military laws are not conducive to same-sex couples. The spouses of gay service members are currently not allowed to get a military identification card, which in essence bans them from any on-base activity and benefit, including medical and dental benefits. Without an ID card they cannot access base facilities (even if a spouse if stationed there), shop at the commissary or exchange, or even use recreational facilities such as pools, bowling alleys, gyms, or daycare facilities. Parents without ID cards cannot drop their children off at on-base schools.

Advocacy groups, including the American Military Partner Association and OutServe-SLDN, are pressing lawmakers and Pentagon officials to rectify the situation.

Meanwhile, military commanders are stuck. They are restricted to the terms that currently exist, and must sort through rules and regulations regarding what is and is not permissible.

While certain restrictions can only be lifted by the federal government, some restrictions do not need legislature to change. Military housing benefits, relocation benefits, and access to legal assistance and military IDs, for example, are all up to the Defense Department regulations that military officials could change.

Defense officials say they are considering whether to revise those regulations.

“The Department of Defense is conducting a deliberative and comprehensive review of the possibility of extending eligibility for benefits, when legally permitted, to same-sex domestic partners,” Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Christensen, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.

“The benefits are being examined from a policy, fiscal, legal and feasibility perspective,” he said.

Do you think that gay military spouses should receive the same benefits as heterosexual spouses?

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Comments

17 Responses to “Gay Military Spouses Left Out In The Cold, Even After ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal”

  1. Laura Arndt

    This makes me very sad and angry. As a military wife who knows what it's like to go through a deployment, I know how much support one needs from those around them to get through it. The fact that these spouses aren't even allowed on base to use services provided for them makes me sick. They pay their taxes, just like everybody else, and they DESERVE to participate in the activities provided by taxpayer dollars to help military families. I know that one day this post will be irrelevant because homosexual couples will be allowed the same benefits and freedoms as heterosexual couples, but what about the ones going through it right now? We need to do something about this immediately. These people have committed their lives to our military, are serving next to our loved ones, and they should be respected enough to not have to worry about their spouse back home being treated like they are something less than human.

  2. Sandra Bowman

    This particular article doesn't affect me personally, but thank you. It is nice to have straight alliances speak out against injustices against the LGBT community:)

  3. Laura Arndt

    It's one of the causes I fiercely believe in, because I hate to see anybody judged or excluded from things that should be their rights. I don't think you need to be part of the LGBT community to stand up for rights, just as I don't think you need to be black (or other than white) to stand up against racism. It's all the same thing in my eyes, and I hate discrimination. And you're welcome, I'll always be an alliance to the LGBT community!

  4. JohnWilkinson My-bidforoffice

    "Good Deal", too! What makes – - me – - "angry" is the fact they ever brought the such into the military to begin with. B Co. 2nd 87th mech Inf. USAREUR 1975-79. "Homosexuals" have NO REAL PLACE. "Love your kin if that be their ailment (certainly)"/ but other than that, it is COMPLETLY DISHONORABLE and 100 % Bankrupcy. To "fear the Lord" is the – - beginning – - of -wisdom- so what would that leave this "popular" LOT for? "Branded Athisum". The "Arndt Clan" your sort of reasoning and philosophy leaves the future to "want", and NOTHING ELSE! If you "claim" to be a "Christian" it certainly must have "modern humanism" as it's founding stone sure isn't based on any King James version of any Bible.

  5. Laura Arndt

    Seeing comments like this one makes me more confident than ever in what I believe and how I feel about things. Although it was a little hard to understand your comment with all your silly "quotation" marks that you clearly don't understand what are for, I still figured out that you are a heartless person on the wrong side of history. "If I was a Christian" I'm positive that I would find many teachings of Jesus himself that validate my views and how I treat people. You stick with your Old Testament ways and see how far it gets you in life.

  6. JohnWilkinson My-bidforoffice

    Laura Arndt Oh I have no doubt you believe in what you believe. Bible, ( : / their is nothing in the "Bible" that advocates "homosexual conduct". You know something, your 'pick' on me using "quotation marks' is a "Dear Sentiment" for the – - brand – - of "attack" -your kind (as in -your 'type'-)- have – - been using – - to "clear space" to make "Your battle" on that whole front. Homosexual behavior is -completely abnormal- and if one will one take the second it takes to – witness – the CHARACTER that one developes when they "turn' that way, it's more than obvious what we have with "all of that"! I am ABOUT IT, these -groups- within the bigger establishment that set up a barrier as they have with THAT "garbage". you talk "history", but, your sort of "history" is the "wrong side". You keep marching how you like, but, it's "class action/ piss poor". Obama, our sad tale for a Leader -might- try and pull some sort 'universal' "gay marriage" coverage – federally. That's the sort of thing your -mind set- would LIKE, isn't it? For me, I – - am not about that/ I know it distorts the norm and is a COMPLETE match to lighter-fluid in the human character- IF -Obama- "The idiot", WAS to have success in bringing "Gay marriage" forward in ALL THE STATES, -myself- I'd be looking to forge a -different Union-. Lady, as far as "YOUR CHRISTIANITY", you are a -branded Episcopalin- and -Episcopalian- is "modern humanism". You are a type of -person- who believes that so long as you "give charity" that one is "Religious". But, you are on the side of the Enemy with the ideals you represent. (Don't get me -wrong- i am not for "Bullying" someone who is a "gay" I am not for -Bullying- of ANYONE). Keep what you believe, but, it's -as I'm saying- "modern humanism". It's YOU who are un-precise. Hope you will have a -CHEERFUL DAY- though. But, you are a "joke".

  7. Chris Arndt

    1975-1979…so you sat in Garrison for four years on vacation and expect that to mean something to anyone? It's too bad you didn't use your GI Bill for a better education, I've seen better reading and writing comprehension from a stale sandwich.

  8. JohnWilkinson My-bidforoffice

    Homosexuality DESTROYS the true "meaning of LIFE". It's GOD who makes the Universe; it is GOD who made the RULES. Only FOOLS promote the idea of Homosexual conduct as being "O.K."/Certainly we try to -reason- with those whom one can even -reach- (their been cases of "homosexuals" turning FROM That!). "GOD SAVE THE QUEEN". I am -DONE- at this article.

  9. JohnWilkinson My-bidforoffice

    There was an article I saw recently about a photo of some gay clergy that got married. These men and churches defile the name of God. Here is my stance. Leviticus 18:22 says that it is detestable for a man to lie with another man as a man would lie with a woman. I seem remember it also being called an abomination someplace else in the Bible. How much more so for priests to be gay. Be gay, be couples but don't be a gay priest. You are a fake. You promote the devil's idea of good not God's. I leave with my message to all gays. You are sick. You need help. And if this scripture ain't the truth.

    Romans 1:24-27: "Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual inpurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator — who is forever praised. Amen

    Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts, Even their women exchanged natural relations for unatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men commited indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion."

    Be gay but calling yourself a minister is an abomination.

    –NORMAN W. NONNWEILER (Newsvine, 01/27/2013).

  10. Chris Arndt

    It was so important, Jesus never mentioned it…..

    And if you believe Leviticus, I think we should adapt other moral tenants from the book –

    End the "high and tight" or any close haircuts, as it is an abomination to "round the corners of your hair" – Lev. 19:27
    Ban Tatoos (19:28)
    Don't just oppose homosexuals, you are obliged to kill them (20:14)
    Handicapped people, or those with injuries, or "flat nosed", can't go to Church 21:20

    You sir are a walking example on the infinite wisdom of the separation of church and state. You know not what you even preach, you don't even understand your own scripture. Thomas Jefferson knew your kind when he spoke of the wall of separation of church and state. What we are talking about here are rules of the state, and your specific religious teachings, constitutionally, has no place in guiding its rules and regulations. I'm very grateful that the likes of Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, and Madison sought to protect your right to believe what you believe. And I'm glad they ensured you can't make it law.

  11. Chris Arndt

    Looks like you lied, saying you are done with this article and posting days later. There's no commandment about not being gay, but there is one about not lying, and you've already broken that one. Nicely done!

  12. JohnWilkinson My-bidforoffice

    I can't even READ YOU, O.K! You "mister and mrses" You have absolutely NO SALT. Just "JUNK BELIEFS". Homosexuality is a sickness and is filled with persons who are only "Stupid". (Yeah, "Tattoos" is -against belief in GOD-). You for got about a camel fitting thru the Eye of a Needle. MYSELF, I wouldn't let a "Homosexual" even -close- to me, personally. What a loss of face and utter disgrace. NO BODY IS FOR BEATING THEM UP (I'm not!). It ISN'T a "Civil Right" for those -Freaks- (with nothing "better" for IDEAS) to "Marry", with the blessings of the State without the PEOPLE saying 1st that is what THEY O.K. as a "Social Norm". You -know- "Homosexuality" is a disgrace and is WRONG! But, YOU REP YOU! "HA"! It's a LAUGH, but, is ISN'T ON ME! "Communism" has brought "Homosexual Marriage" to eight of the ten States in USA that -Today- Sanction That! YOU KNOW WHERE YOU STAND. I know where you stand. I'm not standing with YOU -ALL! Just: "scat".