Air Force Clarifies Same-Sex Marriage Policy
The Air Force has released a clarification of its policy on allowing gay and lesbian airmen leave to travel to a state that provides marriage equality if they wish to marry their partners.
The guidance clarifies how Airmen may be eligible for administrative absence to obtain legal marriage, if the state or country they are stationed in does not yet recognize same sex marriage.
In order to be granted administrative absence, the Airman must be located more than 100 miles from a U.S. state, the District of Columbia or other jurisdictions that allows the couple to marry. According to the policy, if two service members are part of a couple and desire to get married, both members may be granted an administrative absence if qualified.
Members may be granted up to seven days if stationed in the continental United States, and up to 10 days if stationed overseas. The waiting period, required by law, to obtain a legal marriage from the jurisdiction nearest the assignment location is what determines the days. Also, a maximum of two travel days is authorized if stationed in the continental U.S., and five days is authorized if the member is stationed overseas.
"This will allow all Airmen to be recognized equally under the law in regards to spousal benefits," said Maj. Mark Cipolla, Air Force force management policy division.