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Local Same Sex Partners of Military Members Begin Collecting Benefits

Local Same Sex Partners of Military Members Begin Collecting Benefits

  Joshua Snyder-Hill says it feels kind of weird, finally receiving military spousal benefits.

 

  Snyder-Hill, who is the legally married husband of a male Army Major, picked up his military i.d. card on Tuesday, the first day that the military distributed the benefit cards to same sex spouses of active duty personnel.

 

  Snyder-Hill says he will no doubt get some funny looks in the days ahead.

 

  "I can envision somebody saying, 'what branch are you in?' and I'm not going to lie, I'll tell them it is my husband," Snyder-Hill told 1200 WOAI's Michael Board.  "I'll be interested to see how people react to that."

 

  The Pentagon says all same sex partners and spouses of military members are now eligible for all benefits granted to opposite sex partners, from TRICARE health benefits to base and post access, to survivors benefits and the right to be buried with their spouse in military cemeteries.

 

  Snyder-Hill says it's interesting that he is a recognized husband on the post, but not in the community.

 

  "Technically we have more rights, more respect, and more recognition on a military base than we do in our own home," he said.

 

  In fact, the Texas National Guard refused to go along with the same sex benefit plan.  The Guard said it is a state agency, and it is obliged to follow state laws, which do not recognize gay marriages or civil unions.

 

  But the Guard did tell same sex partners of Guard members that they could pick up their benefit cards at federal military installations, and stressed that the Texas Guard would not deny benefits to anybody.

 

 

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