WASHINGTON, DC — The American Military Partner Association ( AMPA ), the nation's premier resource and support network for LGBT military spouses and their families, released the following statement today over the growing frustration of legally married gay and lesbian service members being denied command sponsorship for their spouses at many duty locations around the world, but most notably in Europe. While the Defense Department is now sponsoring same-gender military spouses in locations like Japan and South Korea, those whose spouses have orders to nations that could be considered even more "LGBT friendly" are still being denied sponsorship. While some claim Status of Forces Agreements ( SOFA ) need to be updated before sponsorship can begin, some of these European nations with marriage equality already recognize same-gender spouses, and all military spouses should therefore be covered under existing SOFA agreements.
"The denial of command sponsorship for the spouses of our gay and lesbian service members being sent to Europe, even to countries with marriage equality, is very frustrating and causing major issues for our military families as they prepare for orders to new duty stations," said Stephen Peters, president of AMPA. "While we hope that the Defense and State Departments are working urgently to change this, as month after month continues to go by, our families are becoming even more discouraged, frustrated, and less hopeful that this is of some importance for decision makers. One can only imagine if these issues were affecting the spouses of senior Defense Department leadership how much more quickly it would be resolved."
¨For more information about the American Military Partner Association and LGBT military families, please visit our home on the web atwww.MilitaryPartners.org .
The American Military Partner Association ( AMPA ), a non-partisan and non-profit 501( c )3 organization based in Washington DC, is the nation's premier resource and support network for LGBT military spouses and their families. Founded and led by same-sex military partners in 2009 as the Campaign for Military Partners, AMPA is committed to connecting, supporting, honoring, and serving the partners and spouses of America's LGBT servicemembers and veterans."