Conservative groups have criticized a Pentagon proposal to provide
up to 10 days of leave to gay troops so that they can travel to a
state where gay marriage is legal.
The plan, reported Wednesday by the AP, comes in the wake of a
Supreme Court ruling that paved the way for the federal government to
recognize the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples.
A draft Defense Department memo from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel
proposes reversing a previous declaration system in which gay spouses
would receive limited benefits after signing a declaration form.
“As the Supreme Court's ruling has made it possible for same-sex
couples to marry and be afforded all benefits available to any
military spouse and family, I have determined, consistent with the
unanimous advice of the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that
the spousal and family benefits far outweigh the benefits that could
be extended under a declaration system,” Hagel wrote.
“[W]e are looking at providing extra leave for same-sex couples
who want to get married to travel to a state where same-sex marriages
are legal,” an anonymous source told the AP.
Retired Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis, a senior fellow for national
security at the Christian conservative Family Research Council (FRC),
panned the proposal.
“[The Pentagon is] going to grant free 10 days of paid vacation
for these service members to go to a state where they do perform
same-sex 'marriages' so that they can come back to their duty
installation and claim marriage benefits,” Maginnis told One
News Now. “I believe that's a tragedy and a travesty as well.”