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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Gay Service Members Taking Leave To Get Married

Air Force Major Jeff Mueller, second from right, is pictured with his mother, grandmother and partner Eric Gustafson, at Mueller's promotion ceremony to Major at the Peterson Air Force Base Museum in Colorado Springs, September 26, 2011. (Courtesy of Jeff Mueller)

Air Force Major Jeff Mueller, second from right, is pictured with his mother, grandmother and partner Eric Gustafson, at Mueller’s promotion ceremony to Major at the Peterson Air Force Base Museum in Colorado Springs, September 26, 2011. (Courtesy of Jeff Mueller)

It’s been more than three months since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which recognized marriage only between a man and a woman.

Air Force Major Jeff Mueller. (USAF)

Air Force Major Jeff Mueller. (USAF)

Now the Pentagon says it’s time to honor that repeal of DOMA by extending benefits to legally married gay service members.

The change will mean that the Pentagon will soon provide health care and housing to the gay spouses. It will also provide paid leave for gay service members to travel to states where same-sex marriage is legal, in order to get married.

Air Force Maj. Jeff Mueller says he will finally wed his partner next month in Los Angeles, since he is based in Colorado, where gay marriage is not legal.

“When I was in college, I gave a speech on why I thought ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ should be repealed,” Mueller told Here & Now. “It kind of seemed like a pipe dream at the time. Then obviously now, within two years, that’s gone — I can get married and have the federal government recognize it. I’m happy that things are going so quickly.”

Guest

  • Jeff Mueller, Air Force major stationed at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo.

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