( Washington, D.C. ) A day after Senator Jeanne Shaheen ( D-NH ) intervened on behalf of CW2 Charlie Morgan of the New Hampshire National Guard, prompting the Pentagon to clarify regulations governing the participation of same-sex partners in yellow ribbon family reintegration events, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network praised Senator Shaheen and renewed its call for Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to immediately extend all benefits and family support available under existing laws to the families of legally married gay and lesbian service members.
"At SLDN, we salute Senator Shaheen for her efforts, but the truth is that this service member should not have had to call on her Senator to intervene at the Pentagon in order for her family to be recognized and supported in the same ways as her straight, married counterparts. We again call upon Secretary Panetta to confer now all the benefits and recognition he is authorized to extend to gay and lesbian service members and their families," said Army Veteran and SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis.
In August, SLDN wrote to Secretary Panetta, outlining areas of family support and benefits that could be immediately extended under existing law to legally married LGBT service members and their families. To view the letter, click here.
"We are not advocating any special treatment for gay and lesbian service members and their families, but we want to underscore that all service members and their families should be treated the same when it comes to benefits and family support programs," said Sarvis.