First, it was don’t ask, don’t tell, then women in combat and now outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has directed that military benefits formerly reserved for married couples be extended to unmarried couples, at taxpayer expense, but only if they are same sex couples - heterosexual unmarried couples need not apply.
The memorandum continues: “At the direction of the President, the Department has conducted a careful and deliberative review of the benefits currently provided to the families of Service members. We have now identified additional family member and dependent benefits that we can lawfully provide to same-sex domestic partners of Military Service members and their children through changes in Department of Defense policies and regulations.”
Panetta’s memorandum continues:
“These benefits shall be extended to the same-sex domestic partners and, where applicable, children of same-sex domestic partners, once the Service member and their same-sex domestic partner have signed a declaration attesting to the existence of their committed relationship.”
The declaration defines a “domestic partner” as a “person in a domestic partnership with a Service member of the same sex,” and a “domestic partnership” as a “committed relationship between two adults, of the same sex, that meets all of the requirements below.”
Among the benefits the Pentagon will now give to same-sex domestic partners but not to heterosexual unwed couples are disability and death compensation, legal assistance, some travel on Department of Defense aircraft, commissary privileges, welfare and recreation programs, emergency leave, and access to a “sexual assault counseling program.”
First, how can extending benefits to unmarried same sex couples, but not to unmarried heterosexual couples, not be discrimination? Another question taxpayers must ask, is why do we need to elect members of Congress, when they are so easily bypassed by the president and his bureaucrats on matters utilizing the treasury of the United States?