The U.S. Military says it will extend benefits to same sex military spouses as soon as possible in light of this morning's Supreme Court ruling.
The high court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibited the federal government from recognizing same sex marriages which are legal in a dozen states and the District of Columbia.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says he welcomes the court ruling and that they will work in consultation with the Justice Department in making benefits available to all military spouses, regardless of their sexual orientation.
Defense officials estimate there are 18,000 same-sex couples in the active duty, National Guard and Reserves. It's unclear how many of those are married. The court ruling also could allow same-sex spouses to be buried at Arlington Cemetery.
In 2011 Congress repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", allowing openly gay men and woman to serve in the military.
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