Feedback: Victory For Same-Sex Military Spouses
After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in June, the Department of Defense said it would make the same benefits heterosexual couples get available to married same-sex couples.
That's now happening.
In an interview with 7 News assistant producer Ana Hume, Fort Drum spouse Jason Weigold-Payne said he's happy that he will start receiving military spousal benefits.
He has been married to his partner, Dontae Payne, a Fort Drum soldier, for three years and says they deserve to be treated like other heterosexual married couples.
"It feels great because love is love to me and it's one step closer to equality for all and freedom to love whoever you love," said Jason.
Spouses like Jason will receive benefits like TRICARE enrollment, basic allowance for housing and family separation allowance as long as they have a valid marriage certificate.
It's now the law and it's the right thing to do so at the Department of Defense we remain committed to ensuring that all men and women who serve our country are being treated fairly and equally," said Lieutenant Commander Nathan Christenses, spokesman for the Pentagon.
And now that gay military spouses are being treated equally, Jason says he's already taking advantage of the benefits he can receive.
"But I did go to the PX and use my military ID card yesterday to buy a bottle of wine, which I'll save for us to celebrate when he gets home," said Jason.
The benefits same-sex couples are receiving are retroactive to June 26, the date of the Supreme Court decision.