The recent liberalization of military policy toward greater equality for all service members is example of what happens when people speak out against inequity. After Barack Obama's re-election, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta moved to end discrimination against women in the military by opening thousands of combat positions to them (1). Panetta's latest reform, while not completely undoing the wrong, responds to the inequity suffered by same-sex partners of service people (2). This story comes from The Huffington Post (read full text and updates here.) – Ed.
More than a year after lifting the ban on gay men and women serving openly in the military, the Pentagon has extended certain benefits to these service members and their families.
Gay rights groups have been pressing the Pentagon to extend equal benefits to gay service members and their families since the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The benefits include commissary privileges, access to family support initiatives and joint duty assignments. The move was one of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's last moves as a member of President Barack Obama's Cabinet, and it will likely be one of his most lasting legacies.