Dems push for more benefits to same-sex military spouses

But that move did not provide benefits like medical coverage and base housing, which the Defense Department said was due to concerns over the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

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Smith’s legislation, which he re-introduced Thursday, would provide those benefits by changing the definition of “spouse” in the U.S. code. The bill from Shaheen and Gillibrand introduced Friday would require the Pentagon and Veterans Affairs to provide the same benefits for any same-sex marriage that has been recognized by a state.

President Obama endorsed providing equal benefits in his State of the Union on Tuesday.

“We will ensure equal treatment for all service members, and equal benefits for their families — gay and straight,” he said.

DOMA is currently being fought in court, and House Republican are providing a legal defense for the law after the Obama administration said it would not defend it.