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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 34541
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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when will I be able to register my same sex spouse in DEERS

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when will I be able to register my same sex spouse in DEERS and get him an ID card?
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

You ask a great question

when will I be able to register my same sex spouse in DEERS and get him an ID card?

Short answer:

Not yet. But that time is coming. And likely very soon.

The military policy is in the process of changing to reflect the direction that public opinion and the law is moving towards. The recent rulings by the Supreme Court, specifically the one regarding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) did not require the military to recognise same sex marriage.

The ruling only held that DOMA was unconstitutional.

So the law that held the federal government could ignore same sex marriages was struck down.

Logically, this means that the military needs to change its policy. And it is...

Hours after the Supreme Court struck down a provision in the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel vowed to immediately put the wheels in motion to allow homosexuals serving in the armed forces to access federal benefits for their same-sex “spouses.”

“The Department of Defense welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision today on the Defense of Marriage Act,” a statement from Hagel's office read. “The Department will immediately begin the process of implementing the Supreme Court’s decision in consultation with the Department of Justice and other executive branch agencies. The Department of Defense intends to make the same benefits available to all military spouses — regardless of sexual orientation — as soon as possible. That is now the law, and it is the right thing to do.”

So it is coming.

I expect it will happen this year...or early next. They must go through a process to develop the policy, and them implement it. That could take will not take years.

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