Gay U.S. troop spouses to get benefits

AFP-JIJI

The Pentagon plans to extend some benefits to the spouses of gay and lesbian troops, officials said Tuesday. The decision was expected to be formally announced within days, before Defense Secretary Leon Panetta retires this month, the officials said.

Since the Pentagon lifted a ban on openly gay recruits serving in uniform in September 2011, it has grappled with questions about benefits as it must comply with a law prohibiting the federal government from granting same-sex marriages legal status. But officials have been looking at ways to extend some benefits without violating the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.