Military to Extend Benefits to Gay Service Members

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The military is poised to extend some benefits to same-sex partners of service members, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

The news comes about 16 months after the Pentagon repealed its ban on openly gay service. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has not made a final decision on which benefits will be included.

Officials are considering allowing same-sex partners access to the on-base commissary and other military stores, as well as some health and welfare programs.

Full benefits, such as housing and medical benefits, would require the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.

The federal law forbids the U.S. government from recognizing any marriage other than those between a man and a woman.

An announcement is expected to come in the next several days. Officials discussed the plan on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss publicly internal Pentagon deliberations.

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