Report: DOMA Harms Gay Troops; Undermines Military
When openly gay Marine Corps Captain Matthew Phelps moves to be stationed in Okinawa, Japan, there will probably be one thing he won’t be able to get out of his mind: how to provide for his family.
Despite new benefits that were extended to gay military couples, Phelps -like most other gay service members-is not eligible to receive up to $20,000 in allowances that straight military members get.
This is the subject of a new report by OutServe-SLDN and the Center for American Progress, which underlines how the federal government’s Defense of Marriage Act affects the military.
The report details exactly how DOMA, a 1996 law that defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman, adversely affects gay and lesbian service members and their families.
"No man or woman who dedicates their life to the protection of our country should have to worry about their families being cared for in their absence," wrote Katie Miller, a special assistant at CAP and one of the authors of the report . "Creating two classes of service members is no way to treat our troops and no way to run our military."
OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson said military leaders on all levels wish to treat the troops under their command equally, but are forced to discriminate because of DOMA.