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Hagel Extends Benefits to Same-Sex Couples After Ruling
By Harold Hutchison

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that the Department of Defense will be extending benefits to same-sex couples in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling throwing out Section3 of the Defense of Marriage Act.

“The department will immediately begin the process of implementing the Supreme Court's decision in consultation with the Department of Justice and other executive branch agencies. The Department of Defense intends to make the same benefits available to all military spouses -- regardless of sexual orientation -- as soon as possible. That is now the law and it is the right thing to do,” Hagel said in a statement issued yesterday.

Meanwhile, there is worry about religious liberty in the DOD. ““Most of the faith groups in our country firmly hold that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. They strongly believe that children deserve to know their mother and father. Chaplains from those faith groups will continue to minister with those convictions. Chaplains have been protected by DOMA as they minister to service members and their families in a manner consistent with those sincerely held beliefs. That freedom is now at significant risk,” Chaplain Ron Crews, a retired Army colonel, said in a statement released after the ruling.

Is religious liberty for the troops now at risk?