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Pentagon to Extend Some Privileges to Troops' Same-Sex Partners

Family privileges are going to be extended to gay troops' partners soon, as the Pentagon made an announcement on Tuesday that it would give "minor perks" to those in a same-sex partnership.

These privileges likely include dining in base commissaries, shopping in subsidized Defense Department stores, but won't include health and dental insurance. 

"What remains to be seen is when it would happen, and which would be extended," a Defense official said. 

Though a Senate Armed Services Committee member was said to have been informed of the announcement, an aide said they had not been briefed on the specifics. 

This announcement comes less than two weeks after the Pentagon opened front-line combat units to women, and two years after the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy was repealed. 

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has to be careful not to violate the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, an act that forbids the government from recognizing non-traditional marriage.

DOMA is set to be challenged before the Supreme Court in June. 

Spouses' clubs in the Marine Corps already allow same-sex partners to be admitted, after it was challenged by the wife of a female Army officer at Fort Bragg, N.C.

These changes come after Obama declared his support for gay marriage in his second inaugural address:

"Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law - for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well."



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