The landmark Supreme Court ruling making same-sex marriage legal across the U.S. means LGBT military personnel will have full access to veterans benefits, according to the nation’s largest organization for LGBT service members and veterans.
The American Military Partner Association (AMPA) said that same-sex couples living in states without same-sex marriage laws have been denied full and equal access to many earned veterans benefits.
After Friday's 5-4 ruling was handed down by Supreme Court justices, AMPA said this will change.
“From burial rights to veteran home loans to burial rights, today’s historic Supreme Court decision bringing marriage equality to every state in our great nation means that LGBT military families will finally have access to the full federal veterans benefits they’ve earned,” AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack said in a written statement.
The decision is very important to those couples who may have married in a state recognizing same-sex marriages but faced a transfer to a state without such a law, the organization stated.
Gay and lesbian couples already can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The court's ruling on Friday means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.
Also, today's decision will now permit same sex weddings in military chapels in all 50 states, NBC News reports.
If a military chaplain or member of the clergy finds performing such a marriage is not in line with the tenets of their faith, they can refuse.
Same sex couples can still be married in a military chapel by the clergy of their choice, NBC News.