The U.S. military says it has a new benefit for same-sex couples who are in the Armed Services and want to get “married.”
And it’s a taxpayer-funded perk available only to same-sex duos, not heterosexual couples.
It’s government-paid leave to travel to a state that recognizes same-sex “marriage.”
In an email today, Tony Perkins of Family Research Council explained what’s going on.
“A Supreme Court ruling earlier this year said that the federal government must give equal treatment to same-sex couples who have legally ‘married.’ But now the Pentagon wants to give a special, taxpayer-funded bonus to such couples – including a benefit that is not even available to heterosexual couples.”
He said it was a Department of Defense announcement on Aug. 13 that said a service member who wants to enter a same-sex “marriage,” but is posted more than 100 miles from a state that allows same-sex “marriages,” will be granted seven days of extra paid leave (10 days if posted outside the continental United States) just to travel to their wedding.
“This special leave – only for destination weddings of homosexual couples – is above and beyond the regular annual leave granted to every service member. How much does this cost the American taxpayer? For 10 days’ work, a captain (with six years’ experience) earns $1,787.20 in base pay alone – that’s not even accounting for benefits like housing allowance, health care, etc.,” he said.
“And this special taxpayer-funded leave is only available for same-sex ‘weddings’ – heterosexuals need not apply!” he said.
Perkins pointed out that goes far beyond the Supreme Court’s ruling, which was meant to provide the same benefits as heterosexual couples for same-sex duos who have gotten “married” in a state that allows that, or now live in a state that recognizes such designations.
He suggested taxpayers should be calling their members of Congress to have them remove from the military the ability to grant special bonuses like these.
While the Department of Defense, in its announcement, promised to see that “all men and women who serve in the U.S. military, and their families, are treated fairly and equally as the law directs,” there was no special bonus announced for heterosexual couples.
“We recognize that same-sex military couples who are not stationed in a jurisdiction that permits same-sex marriage would have to travel to another jurisdiction to marry. That is why the department will implement policies to allow military personnel in such a relationship non-chargeable leave for the purpose of travelling (sic) to a jurisdiction where such a marriage may occur. This will provide accelerated access to the full range of benefits offered to married military couples throughout the department, and help level the playing field between opposite-sex and same-sex couples seeking to be married,” the military said.
The issue of same-sex “marriage” is just the latest change to upend the continuity and stability of the military.
- A senior chaplain on a major stateside military installation recently was stripped of his authority over the chapel under his charge for his insistence that, in accordance with federal law and military regulations proclaiming the chapel as a “sacred space,” the chapel would not be used to celebrate “marriages” between same-sex couples.
- A chaplain was threatened with early retirement, then was moved to an assignment where he could “be supervised,” after he forwarded an email to his subordinates that was a thoughtful reflection on the military’s former “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
- At Andrews Air Force Base a senior NCO asked a chaplain for assistance over an incident that occurred in the public food court. Two sailors under his command were eating and talking when one of them mentioned he might want to be a chaplain someday but didn’t know how the new regulation allowing homosexuals to serve would affect that plan. Another service member at the next table who was listening to the conversation stood up and berated the two sailors for talking about the new policy and reported the “incident” to the NCO. Unsure of what to do, he instructed the soldier who want to become a chaplain that he needed to be more careful in public.
- A chaplain on funeral duty with some enlisted sailors heard them discussing how they felt it was unfair that fellow service members that chose the “gay” or lesbian lifestyle were allowed to choose their roommates, but as heterosexuals they were unable to do the same.
- A service school that trains officers experienced an incident in which a male service member sexually harassed another male service member through text messages, emails, phone calls and visible confrontations. The targeted member was not interested in a same-sex relationship, but the offending male insisted the two would make a good couple. The harassment was reported, but no disciplinary action resulted.