The Department of Veteran Affairs is dedicated to serving all eligible Servicemembers, Veterans and their families. It also recognizes the existing diversity within this population, including the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual (LGB) community. As a result, VA is committed to providing outreach to diverse Service and Veteran populations.
On June 26, 2013, the US Supreme Court held in the United States v. Windsor decision that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. VA is working closely with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to review relevant statutes and policies to implement any necessary changes to Federal benefits and obligations swiftly and smoothly in order to deliver the best services to all our nation's Veterans.
Until VA and the DOJ determine the proper course of action, VA must continue to apply the current statutory guidance in Title 38 of the United States Code, which does not allow for payment of benefits based on same sex marriage.
The Defense Department, in their ongoing review of military benefits in connection with the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," identified the following VA benefits for which Servicemembers may designate beneficiaries of their choosing, regardless of sexual orientation:
In addition, there are other benefits for Servicemembers provided by DoD for which LGB Servicemembers may designate a beneficiary regardless of sexual orientation. Learn about those DoD programs on the Defense Department's DADT website.
Veterans Crisis Line:
1-800-273-8255 (Press 1)
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs | 810 Vermont Avenue, NW Washington DC 20420
Last updated October 22, 2013