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Shaheen welcomes Pentagon announcement on same-sex benefits

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said the Pentagon’s decision to make health care, housing and other benefits available to same-sex spouses of military members is a big win for fairness and equality.

The Pentagon said yesterday it reached the decision after consulting with the Justice Department, following the Supreme Court’s ruling in June on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. The benefits would be available by Sept. 3.

Shaheen said, though, that more needs to be done. She said until the Department of Veterans Affairs issues a similar announcement, “I will continue to push forward the Charlie Morgan Act, so that veterans and their families also enjoy the benefits they have rightfully earned and deserve.”

Shaheen is a co-sponsor of the measure that would bring benefits equality to same-sex military couples. It’s named for New Hampshire National Guard Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan, whose wife and daughter were denied survivor and other benefits after Morgan’s death from breast cancer earlier this year.

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