Same Sex Partners: Happy For Them?


I was going to write:  I’m happy for them.  When the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act this week, I wanted to write about our friend and blogger Tracey Hepner carrying the American flag to the steps of the Supreme Court with other members of the Military Partners and Families Coalition.

I wanted to write about Lori Hensic from the American Military Partner Association on TV speaking about getting married.

I wanted to note how the Blue Star Families Survey said that the majority of military families didn’t have a problem with gays and lesbians serving in the military.  They reported that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell had no effect.

And I just wanted to just say that the whole thing makes me happy for them.  As if that day was happy only for them.

But that wasn’t exactly right. What I meant to say really is that I am happy for us.  I’m happy for all of us in the military community.

Because this ruling brings more of “us” into the fold.  It means that all the benefits that make a difference will be open to same sex spouses of married military couples. It isn’t just the commissary or the ability to go on base for homecoming that will be open.  (Find out more about how the changes will affect gay and lesbian couples here.)

It means the ability to create and sustain a long marriage and a military career will be open.  I for one am glad that couples won’t be kept apart because of a housing allowance anymore. I’m glad that a military spouse can reasonably quit their job to go move with their servicemember because they will still have medical benefits to cover them until they get another job.  I’m glad that  spouses will be able to move overseas with their partners instead of facing three years apart.

Most of all, I’m happy for us.  All of us.  Because I am always on the side of love.  I am always in favor of the research that says the one reliable marker for happiness is a long and fulfilling relationship with one other human being.

And I want that for all of our servicemembers and the folks who love them.  It has never been easy to have both a long military career and a long military marriage, but I want the chance for that to happen no matter anyone’s sexual orientation.

So I’ll end this with the words of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel who may have said it best when he noted that this is the right thing for our nation to do:

Every person who serves our nation in uniform stepped forward with courage and commitment. All that matters is their patriotism, their willingness to serve their country, and their qualifications to do so. Today’s ruling helps ensure that all men and women who serve this country can be treated fairly and equally, with the full dignity and respect they so richly deserve.





About the Author

Jacey Eckhart
Jacey Eckhart is the former Director of Spouse and Family Programs for Since 1996, Eckhart’s take on military families has been featured in her syndicated column, her book The Homefront Club, and her award winning CDs These Boots and I Married a Spartan?? Most recently she has been featured as a military family subject matter expert on NBC Dateline, CBS morning news, CNN, NPR and the New York Times. Eckhart is an Air Force brat, a Navy wife and an Army mom. Find her at

28 Comments on "Same Sex Partners: Happy For Them?"

  1. I am thrilled for ALL of us and our military family!

  2. I'm happy for all of us too – as a military, a nation, and an entire human race. Our husbands fight for freedom and equality, and every time we as a nation do something like this I'm even more proud that this is what he was called to do.

  3. Thank you, Jacey, and thank you Amy for all your support!

  4. Christina | June 27, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
  5. Does anybody want these perverts around their children ?

    • Rather them than a homophobic, narrow-minded religious zealot around my kid, Jason.
      This ruling is good news for real people. For the previously-referenced zealots, all I can say is "render unto Caesar thath which is Caesar's", and recognize that in the temporal world, we have to extend them the same rights – it's simple justice. If you really believe it's an abomination, keep it to yourself. You are not the judge, nor are you God's Own Policeman. IF He really has a problem with how He made them, then THEY will answer for it in His own time. It's not up to YOU to enforce that. Doing so betrays Him: "even as ye do unto the least of these, so do ye unto Me". In this world, treat them just like everyone else, and let THEM worry about whether or not they're going to have to answer for their behavior in the next life.
      Really good article, Jacey! I hadn't thought of it as good news for us, so much as good news for our fellow servicemembers and spouses directly affected, but you're right, it is is "us", not "them".

  6. Old Salt–Correct. Med cost will skyrocket with these high risk pervs. Mil medical care will suffer and that has a ripple effect to the VA system. Who will pay for the counseling for little boys these creeps molest ? Or will the military do nothing like the once great Catholic Church. Homosexuals are a walking health disaster and we have to pay for their behavior. But just think of these civilians–they have to deal with ObamaCare and the Liberals don't know how to implement it. It will cost more for the low income Obama supporters who voted for him. Foot shot. All this sick social engineering fails—look at Welfare/LBJ 'Great Society'–It helped nobody in the long run.

  7. Mr William–You can call posters names behind the safety of the internet. We know your political party. Yes these homosexuals will answer to God when the die(years early). But we Conservatives believe in taking responsibility for our actions and our children. Liberals don't believe in doing that.

  8. Get real, Ms. Eckhart! I want NOTHING to do with same-sex relationship people (that's the kindest way I can say it). And I believe that is the same for MOST military families!

    • jacey_eckhart | June 28, 2013 at 9:33 am |

      I gotta differ with you here SGM Bob. I think a lot depends on the individuals you know. And I choose to know all the best people I can find–many of whom are in a same sex relationship.

    • Then clearly you have no clue about MOST military families, Bob.

  9. I hope there will be the same feelings of elation when the true impact is felt in a few years, not a column grumbling about how the military no longer has good benefits.

    Already the government is making up a story about increasing medical costs for retirees, trying to raise TRICARE fees by large amounts. This despite MOAA evidence that costs have actually declined for the past 3 yrs.

    So, want to bet the outcome of adding more high risk patients to the military insurance programs? The impact to the Social Security trust fund of adding more "spousal benefits"? The wait for on-base housing?

    The bottom line is that in the interest of "feel good" social experimentation, there will be longer lines for finite services, higher costs, and lower benefits in the future for all. Hope you "love" that.

    • Humbug! Benefits are being lowered whether there are same-sex couples or not, has nothing to do with them.

  10. sailor '54 | June 28, 2013 at 10:24 am |

    Perhaps I'm an old foggy and a bit of a bigot. Not only do I not believe in same sex unions, I also don't believe in mixed race unions.

    • I don't agree with same sex unions. It's due to my Christian teachings. I do love others and I wouldn't want anything bad to happen to anyone. I totally disagree with mixed race unions. I see nothing wrong with that. I think we've become a country that does to much of the feel good thing. If it feels good then it is good. Well, that's not always the best way.

  11. As long as they're LEGALLY married, then they should be eligible for benefits. End of story.


  13. sabrinacking | June 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm |

    I find it mind boggling that a culture that would champion Spartan idealism…would then be anti homosexuality….ever read a history book? Do you know that in Sparta, on their wedding nights women were dressed like men….wonder why…

    • sabrinacking | June 28, 2013 at 1:42 pm |

      For the record :
      Plutarch reports the peculiar customs associated with the Spartan wedding night:
      The custom was to capture women for marriage(…) The so-called 'bridesmaid' took charge of the captured girl. She first shaved her head to the scalp, then dressed her in a man's cloak and sandals, and laid her down alone on a mattress in the dark. The bridegroom – who was not drunk and thus not impotent, but was sober as always – first had dinner in the messes, then would slip in, undo her belt, lift her and carry her to the bed

  14. Seriously congrats for all spouses now being able to openly support the ones they love. I often say what you eat won't make me gain weight (my remix) so I can careless about who you entertain in your bedroom because it's none of my business. However, I have been hearing mixed reports most of it hearsay…that this precedence will now effect the current benefits that spouses now have. In some instances I can see, because as we speak we are justthatclose to personnel pay, and benefits cuts and even worse medical coverage. So where would the extra monies come from to support our "newer community". I hear that benefits would be slashed CONUS to support those families that don't have access to the necessities a family stateside does. I've even heard that support would be concentrated to just families with children. I mean if you are a same sex or a hetero spouse doesn't negate the fact that you are still a spouse worthy of the same benefits. I would just like more clarity on what this actually means for the military community besides more people to share tea with. If you could point me to an accurate site with no personal or political affiliation it would be much appreciated.

  15. I also do not agree with same sex unions. I am Christian and it is against my religion. I am not here to judge, I am simply voicing my opinion just like everyone else. I do not have a hate or dislike for homosexual s, but I do not agree with their actions.

  16. What a great day for the military and our government to finally recognize this. I told my husband, I am sure glad that at some point we will be able to say he was serving while all these positive changes were taking place. Although the changes are not yet where they should be for true equality, the military stepping up to the plate and providing benefits is a wonderful big step.

  17. As a former COW I have had to secretly welcome a same-sex spouse into the FRG as "a friend of the sailor" I had to gently explain, along with the ombudsman, there can't be a PDA at homecoming because the lifted ban isn't official yet. I watched this spouse proudly wait for her spouse to get off the plane and welcome one another home. I was so happy she could be there, it would have been better if she could have hugged and kissed like everyone else. My only concern with a spouse is be kind and respectful to all and don't cause drama, because your sexual orientation is non-issue for me.

    The US military is a cross section of America, we are all working or supporting the same cause, even if you don't agree, be tolerant, be kind, you might be surprised by who you get to know and like.

  18. Really you censor comments? I see a few that should have been taken down however mine was legitimate happiness I was just wondering what this really means because whether you choose the address it or not Jacey the rumor mill is buzzing…I will take my question elsewhere to one of the bigger milspouse medias because here you pick and choose and I now see why there is a limited of few followers to spousebuzz blog and Facebook.

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