Pentagon announces that all states have (finally) complied with directive on same-sex benefits

But couples may continue to face challenges in states like Georgia

Published December 13, 2013 6:14PM (EST)

Chuck Hagel                 (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)
Chuck Hagel (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

After quite a bit of resistance from states like Mississippi and Florida, the Pentagon announced on Friday that all states are now complying with new regulations allowing same-sex military spouses to get identification cards that enable them to claim spousal benefits.

According to a report from the Associated Press, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that each of the nine states that had refused to follow the Pentagon directive have stopped being such homophobes and accepted the new regulations. (He didn't say that last part about homophobes.)

But compliance does not mean an end to possible challenges faced by married same-sex couples trying to access military benefits. As Reuters notes, Georgia was among the states that refused to comply with the directive, and its "compromise" deal entails only making the identification cards available at federally-operated National Guard facilities, which means that couples may face longer waits and other delays as Georgia state employees are not legally allowed to process their benefit requests.



By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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Chuck Hagel Equal Marriage Gay People In The Military Gay Rights Homophobia Lgbt Rights Marriage Equality