In 2010, the Department of Defense repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” giving troops the ability to serve openly as gay in the military. There are an estimated 1 million veterans in a same-sex relationship, making this a large-scale issue.
In 2013, same-sex military families were able to receive full benefits – including health care, family services and others – as long as the couple was married in a state that legalized same-sex marriage.
What was not said was that, although the Department of Defense views the marriage as legal, the Department of Veterans Affairs does not if the couple resides in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage.
There are only a handful of states that have not legalized same-sex marriage. One of those is Texas, home to over 1.3 million veterans, along with many active-duty military installations.
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Current Senate legislation called the Charlie Morgan Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act of 2015 would allow a veteran in a same-sex marriage to live in any state and receive full Department of Veterans Affairs benefits.
As a military spouse, I believe that whether a veteran is in a same-sex or opposite-sex marriage, we are all created equal and should be treated as such.