WATCH: Gay Military Couple Lauds New Spousal Benefits in Pentagon Video
BY Sunnivie Brydum
September 26 2013 6:28 PM ET
On September 3 the U.S. Department of Defense began offering equal benefits to all married service members, regardless of whether they are in a same-sex or opposite-sex marriage.
When the department announced the change, in reaction to this summer's Supreme Court ruling striking down a key section of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel also announced that gay and lesbian service members who wanted to get married but didn't live in a state that embraced marriage equality would be offered special paid leave time to travel to a jurisdiction where they could legally marry.
Today the Defense Department issued a video featuring a newlywed gay couple explaining how they're utilizing some of the benefits now available to married gay, lesbian, and bisexual members of the military.
The department caught up with Senior Chief Dwayne Beebe-Franqui and his husband, Johnathan Beebe-Franqui, on the day they applied for a military ID card for Johnathan, granting him access to on-base housing, the commissary, and the same privileges afforded to his husband.
"This is a huge step forward, because if you look at history, every advancement in human rights for people has started in the military," said Dwayne in the video. "Really, what it boils down to is that we're taking care of families, and the service member can go protect his country and do what they need to do."
Watch the video below.