WASHINGTON — The Defense Department is not extending some housing benefits to same-sex partners of service members even though it legally could because the complex issue requires more review and has triggered concerns among military leaders,senior Pentagon officials said Monday.
A new department memo detailed a number of other benefits that will be extended to same-sex partners,including identification cards that will provide access to commissaries and other services. But Pentagon officials said that while some housing payments and health care benefits can’t be included because of federal law,some access to base housing is not specifically prohibited and could be offered in the future.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is giving the military services until Oct. 1 to put the changes into effect and provide 22 benefits to same-sex partners,but he said they should make every effort to get it done by Aug. 31. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Monday also directed the Coast Guard to implement the same extension of benefits as the military.
Read More at OfficialWire . By Lolita C. Baldor.