Coast Guard opens dialogue with LGBT servicemembers

Despite the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) in 2011, and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 2013, total equality for the LGBT community is still a work in progress. One of the ways the Coast Guard is helping its LGBT members is by creating an open dialogue.

From the Homefront: Why military ID cards matter

“These modern military spouses finally have access to vitally needed benefits that help to ease the challenges of serving our nation. From major benefits like health care and insurance through Tricare, to smaller benefits like access to the commissary and exchanges, life has dramatically improved for these military spouses and their families,” said Stephen Peters, president of the American Military Partner Association.

Administrative absence to obtain a legal marriage

This week, the Coast Guard announced service members may now request an administrative absence to obtain a legal marriage. The message from Rear Adm. Steven E. Day, director of Reserve and Military Personnel, announces policy and procedures for granting administrative absence in order to obtain a legal marriage.

Military benefits extended to same-sex spouses of military members

Rear Adm. Daniel A. Neptun announced, beginning Sept. 3, members with same-sex spouses can present a valid state marriage certificate to their admin/SPO for processing to receive all spousal/dependent benefits, including BAH at the with-dependents rate. All benefits will be retroactive to the date of marriage or the date of the Supreme Court ruling, whichever is later.

Federal benefits extended to same-sex spouses of civilian employees

On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, prohibiting extension of Federal benefits to same-sex spouses of civilian employees of Federal agencies, was unconstitutional. As a result, the Office of Personnel Management released a memo on July 3 outlining the process by which spouses of civilian Federal employees in legal same-sex marriages could apply for Federal benefits, including – but not limited to – healthcare and life insurance.