DOMA, Double Standards, and the Military
Couples of the same sex can marry at the West Point chapel, they're treated much differently under the Defense of Marriage Act.
Jonathan Hopkins notes that, while couples of the same sex can marry at the West Point chapel, they’re treated much differently under the Defense of Marriage Act.
— A gay or lesbian couple can get hundreds of dollars less per month because of differences in benefits, but they pay higher taxes because they must each file as “single.”
— Need to visit the base to go to the hospital, drop kids at day care, buy food or see a counselor because your spouse has been deployed for a year? Sorry, that all requires access that the gay spouse does not have, because he or she cannot get a military ID card.
— Have a medical emergency? The gay spouse goes to a civilian provider and pays out of pocket, while the straight spouse simply goes to the military hospital and everything is covered.
— Moving? Gay couples can’t ship as much to their next duty station and have to pay the airplane ticket of the civilian spouse.
— If you’re dual military and gay, you could be sent to duty stations thousands of miles apart, even if you have kids.
— Foreign national spouses, met overseas, can’t even get into the country since no visa exists for them.
— And what if the deployed soldier dies or comes down with a terminal illness? The straight spouse gets all survivor benefits such as back pay and pensions. The gay spouse? Nothing.
It’s a bizarre double standard now that gays and lesbians are allowed to serve openly. Hopkins, who graduated fourth in his class at West Point and served three combat tours in command of infantrymen, was separated in 2010 under the old Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.