Secretary Issues Message on U.S. Supreme Court DOMA Ruling

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel released a statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act, stating that the Defense Department intends to make the same benefits available to all military spouses – regardless of sexual orientation – as soon as possible.

His statement is as follows:

“The Department of Defense welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision today on the Defense of Marriage Act.  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.

“Every person who serves our nation in uniform stepped forward with courage and commitment.  All that matters is their patriotism, their willingness to serve their country and their qualifications to do so.  Today’s ruling helps ensure that all men and women who serve this country can be treated fairly and equally, with the full dignity and respect they so richly deserve.”

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