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DOD Facilities Gear up to Issue ID Cards to Same-Sex Spouses

Compliments of: By Jim Garamone

 

DOD facilities are gearing up to issue identification cards to same-sex spouses beginning Sept. 3, Pentagon officials said today.

“All spousal and family benefits, including ID cards, will be made available no later than September 3, 2013,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen.

The Supreme Court decision to overturn portions of the Defense of Marriage Act made it possible for the department to recognize same-sex marriages.

“The department will make the same benefits available to all military spouses, regardless of sexual orientation, as long as service member-sponsors provide a valid marriage certificate from a jurisdiction — including those overseas — that recognizes same-sex marriage,” Christensen said.

Entitlements such as basic allowance for housing and family separation allowance are retroactive to the date of the Supreme Court’s decision — June 26, 2013. For service members married after that date, the entitlements will be paid from the date of the marriage.

TRICARE — the military health care program — is tied to the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System. TRICARE will be available to same-sex spouses beginning Sept. 3, 2013.

There are 15 countries that recognize same-sex marriage. In the United States, 13 states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriages.

Many U.S. service members live in jurisdictions that do not recognize same-sex marriages. As operational requirements permit, commanders may allow military personnel in same-sex relationships up to 10 days of non-chargeable leave for the purpose of travelling to a jurisdiction that allows same-sex couples to be married if they are stationed more than 100 miles from one of those areas.

“Personnel stationed within the continental United States may receive up to seven days non-chargeable leave and those stationed at overseas assignments may receive up to 10 days non-chargeable leave,” Christensen said.

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About Edited by Susan Bainbridge

At age 6, Susan was destined to be a journalist and photographer.  In 1980, Susan founded Bainbridge News and The Bainbridge Chronicle Newspaper. Bainbridge News specializes in Military and National Politics, including Military Funerals and Burials and Political Funerals and Burials.  Susan has covered the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. She has covered every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Recognized for her versatility, Susan has also covered finance, crime, civil rights events, marches, sports, musical events and more. In 1990, she established Bainbridge Photography, an On-Location photography company. In addition to military and political events, including Military and Political funerals and burials, Bainbridge Photography expanded into covering ALL funerals and burials, receptions, weddings, real estate, inventory, insurance, portrait, head shot, pets, fire and Hazmat.  Miss Bainbridge believes in going the extra mile. "My Clients always come first." In 1980, Susan began her career in Washington, D.C., working for WMZQ Radio as a reporter and guest hostess from 1980 to 1985. Intrigued by radio, Susan wanted to write, freelancing for radio, television and print newspapers, including AP, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Northern Virginia Sun, The Press-Republican and The Bainbridge Chronicle (established by Susan Bainbridge). In 1986, Susan worked at WDCA-TV Channel 20 as a guest hostess for "Eye On Washington." From 1990 to 1994, Susan reported and anchored for "The Arlington Weekly News." Additionally, she produced a segment for the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show. A prolific writer, while in high school in 1977, Bainbridge wrote an episode for NBC's "Little House on The Prairie" entitled "Laura's Best Friend." Though the show's producers did not use the script then, NBC producers encouraged Susan to pursue a writing and journalism career. Susan is a member of the National Press Club, the National Press Photographer's Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susan Bainbridge's recognitions include from former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the late actor Lorne Greene, among many others. BAINBRIDGE NEWS was founded in 1980 by Susan Bainbridge (a sixth generation writer), a third generation journalist, a first generation photographer and a fourth generation entrepreneur. She is the first generation to establish a news business. Bainbridge News is dedicated in honor of Miss Bainbridge's late grandfather and idol, Mark S. Watson (The Baltimore Sun editor and war correspondent from 1920 to his death in 1966).

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