By Jeremy Herb - 08/14/13 06:32 PM EDT
The Pentagon announced Wednesday that it would grant same-sex couples previously unavailable federal benefits by September.
The Defense Department is giving legally married same-sex couples the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples by Sept. 3, a move that's being made in response to the Supreme Court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) earlier this year.
"It is now the Department's policy to treat all married personnel equally," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a memo announcing the new benefits.
"The Department will construe the words 'spouse' and 'marriage' to include same-sex spouses and marriages, and the Department will work to make the same benefits available to all military spouses, regardless of whether they are in same-sex or opposite-sex marriages."