As LGBT Weekly reports, Two of our favorite US Senators, NY’s Kirsten Gillibrand and NH’s Jeanne Shaheen, sent a letter to Panetta:
Gillibrand and Shaheen, strong advocates for equality in the armed forces, sent their letter to Panetta today calling for action. “As Secretary, you have the power to extend certain important support programs for military families to all of our service members. In fact, the State Department, Office of Personnel and Management, and the Defense Department for its civilian employees have already extended certain benefits to their LGBT employees and their families,” Gillibrand and Shaheen write.
And Frontiers LA reports that CA Rep Adam Schiff also sent Panetta a letter:
A recent New York Times article documenting stories of untenable and cruel discrimination in the US military toward same sex spouses of military personnel – some of whom are on the frontlines of war – prompted California Rep. Adam Schiff to circulate a letter among his colleagues calling on outgoing Defense Sec. Leon Panetta to provide those partners with equal benefits – a policy position even more urgent now that the DOD has lifted the ban on women serving in combat.
According to the Frontiers LA report, benefits could include:
…military identification cards, access to Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) programs, and allow access to family programs like deployment support, marriage and family counseling, relocation assistance and financial management.
Let’s hope Panetta listens.