John M. Becker

Obama Admin. Announces Progress On Military Benefits, College Loans

Filed By John M. Becker | December 13, 2013 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, Chuck Hagel, DOMA, FAFSA, gay marriage, marriage equality, National Guard, same-sex marriage, student loans

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced this morning that all the rogue state National Guard branches that were defying Pentagon orders and refusing to provide benefits to same-sex military spouses have been brought into line.

His office released the following statement:

On Oct. 31, I called on the chief of the National Guard Bureau to work with several states to fully implement Department of Defense policy by providing DoD identification cards to all eligible military spouses, regardless of sexual orientation. Following consultations between the National Guard Bureau and the adjutants general of the states, all eligible service members, dependents and retirees - including same-sex spouses - are now able to obtain ID cards in every state. All military spouses and families sacrifice on behalf of our country. They deserve our respect and the benefits they are entitled to under the law. All of DoD is committed to pursuing equal opportunities for all who serve this nation, and I will continue to work to ensure our men and women in uniform as well as their families have full and equal access to the benefits they deserve.

And just minutes ago, the Department of Education announced that all legal same-sex marriages will be recognized for federal student aid purposes.

As part of the U.S. Department of Education's ongoing efforts to implement inclusive policies that reflect the diversity of American families, and consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in United States v. Windsor, the Department announced today new guidance on the use of "marriage" and "spouse" in the federal student aid programs, including on the completion of the FAFSA, the federal student aid form.

The new guidance is based on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Windsor, which struck down a key part of DOMA. Under today's guidance, the Department will recognize a student or a parent as legally married if the couple was legally married in any jurisdiction that recognizes the marriage, regardless of whether the marriage is between a couple of the same sex or opposite sex, and regardless of where the student or couple lives or the student is attending school. This guidance impacts all questions concerning marriage and marital status on the FAFSA.

"We must continue to ensure that every single American is treated equally in the eyes of the law, and this important guidance for students is another step forward in that effort," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "As students fill out their FAFSA this coming year, I'm thrilled they'll be able to do so in a way that is more fair and just."


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