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Lessons Learned: Impact of DOMA Ruling on Military Families

July 5, 2013
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In an article published in the Washington Times, CMR President Elaine Donnelly highlighted the long-term consequences of the Supreme Court's failure to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage as the bond of one man and one woman:

Excerpt:

"There are no estimates of  long-term costs for extending spouse and dependent benefits to a new class of beneficiaries, with or without marriage, but if the drain on funds cannot be sustained, benefits intended for families will be cut for everyone.  Once again, President Obama has used the armed forces to deliver on political promises to his LGBT base, and traditional military families are about to pay the bill.

"Lessons can be learned about "bait and switch" tactics and the law of unintended consequences.  When administration officials promise the moon to secure passage of any far-reaching bill, such as irreversible immigration reform, lawmakers should not surrender power to Executive Branch  officials and federal judges who cannot be trusted.  When it comes to political advantage paid for with taxpayers money, President Obama's generosity knows no bounds."

The article has been published at a time when military families are starting to feel the consequences of sequestration budget cuts: 

The Veterans Administration has been drawing enormous criticism for lengthy backlogs in the processing of veterans' claims for benefits.  According to Elizabeth MacDonald of the Fox Business Network, the American Action Forum estimates that, after reviewing more than 300 regulatory demands on veterans, returning U.S. soldiers spend 43.4 million hours filling out 613 forms for 18 different government bureaus, which take 3 hours to complete per person, at a total estimated cost of more than $600 million.

"Meanwhile," writes MacDonald, "VA delays continue to soar. The forum says the “number of veterans waiting more than a year to receive benefits jumped from 11,000 in 2009 to 245,000 by December 2012.”  Adding a whole new class of potential beneficiaries will increase the backlogs and drain already-scarce funds.

At the same time, it turns out that many VA medical centers are eager to please the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT activist group:

Veterans should ask big-box veterans groups they belong to a simple question: Where were you during the "debate" over legislation to impose LGBT law on the military?

They should also ask members of Congress to demand immediate information on what the expected costs of "legalizing LGBT Love" in the military will be.


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