“In the event that the Defense of Marriage Act is no longer applicable to the Department of Defense,” the memo said, “it will be the policy of the Department to construe the words ‘spouse’ and ‘marriage’ without regard to sexual orientation, and married couples, irrespective of sexual orientation, and their dependents, will be granted full military benefits.”
The Army Times, though, explains that because many states do not permit same-sex marriage, it may be more complicated than DoD suggests:
Striking down the federal law leaves the question of what constitutes a marriage up to the states, some of which allow and recognize same-sex marriages, but more that do not. The Defense Department could decide to allow same-sex benefits in states where such marriages are legal but deny benefits in other states, creating inequality of benefits based on location in place of the current inequality based on the traditional definition of marriages.
A bill in Congress — The Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act — aims to address that issue, according to Army Times, by revising “the definition of ‘spouse’ for military personnel policies and for military and veterans benefits.”