Pentagon Discusses Post-DADT Policy Guidance

Senior Pentagon officials said last week they do not expect to make any policy changes with regards to housing and benefits following the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law. That’s because the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a heterosexual union, prohibits the department from doing so, said Clifford Stanley, under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, during a press briefing last week while discussing newly issued Pentagon policy guidance. However, DOD will “re-emphasize” existing military benefits, such as the designation of beneficiaries in areas like group life insurance, death benefits, and the Wounded Warrior Act designated caregiver. Troops have never been prohibited during DADT from designating the person of their choice for such benefits, but many homosexuals may have refrained from designating a partner as their beneficiary out of fear that doing so would lead to separation from service. The new policy prohibits the creation of separate bathroom facilities or living quarters based on sexual orientation. It also clearly states that service members separated under DADT will not be eligible for retroactive separation pay. (Cartwright–Stanley transcript)