By Tom Vanden Brook
Originally published February 11, 2013
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced Monday that the Pentagon is extending benefits to same-sex partners of military servicemembers, including the right to visit their loved ones in military hospitals.
The announcement falls short of an extension of full benefits, many of them involving health care, because federal law prevents same-sex couples from receiving them. Among the other benefits to be extended: participation in family groups on military bases, issuing dependent identification cards and privileges in commissaries.
"It is a matter of fundamental equity that we provide similar benefits to all of those men and women in uniform who serve their country," Panetta said in a statement.
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