Same-Sex Military Spouses File Brief Supporting Marriage Equality

By Sunnivie Brydum

Originally published on Advocate.com March 03 2014 8:39 PM ET

The American Military Partner Association, a nonprofit that provides support and resources for LGBT military spouses and their families, joined forces with LGBT service member group OutServe-SLDN to file a "friend of the court brief" supporting marriage equality in all 50 states in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. 

The brief was filed Monday as an amicus curiae with the appeals court, which is set to hear the federal cases regarding marriage equality in Utah and Oklahoma at the courthouse in Denver next month. 

The brief argues that "the uneven patchwork of states providing marriage equality harms military families and undermines national security," in addition to complicating the dispensation of veteran and spousal benefits for members of the armed forces who may live in states where their marriage is not recognized. 

Although the federal government — including the Pentagonannounced that it would extend federal benefits to all legally married same-sex couples regardless of the state where they live, there is still confusion about what specific benefits can be granted on the state level to same-sex spouses of military members. 

"The lack of marriage recognition is a strain on these military families, and an unnecessary distraction for service members who all too often find themselves in harm's way while trying to protect this country," reads the brief. "Ending this discrimination by requiring states to recognize the right of same-sex couples to marry would protect these families, and best serve the needs of the modern military."

Read the entire brief here.