In 2013 the U.S. military began offering full benefits to the spouses of its gay military members, and while it was surely a victory at home, these changes have been hard to implement for those serving abroad. Now the U.S. has reached an agreement with Germany that will extend those benefits to the 45,000+ Americans still stationed in the country.
The new agreement will give spouses of gay service members paid travel, housing, commissary privileges, household goods shipments, use of schools for their children, and most importantly visas that allow them to stay in the country uninterrupted for the length of their partner’s service there.
It’s going to have a huge impact, especially for those junior enlisted individuals who just can’t fork out thousands of dollars to move their spouse and their childrenAshley BroadwayAshley Broadway, president of the American Military Partners Association (AMPA), expressed her relief on the news, stating that members of the organization “are going to be elated that finally, two years after the Supreme Court decision ruling the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, their families will not be separated or burdened by financial hardships.”
“It’s going to have a huge impact, especially for those junior enlisted individuals who just can’t fork out thousands of dollars to move their spouse and their children,” she said. AMPA estimated that over 100 members have either moved to Germany without their families or had to pay the additional expense out-of-pocket over the last two years.
Germany will now join the 47 other countries that have agreements with the United States to honor these marriages.