Washington D.C.House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), released the following statement today after the Department of Defense announced that it will extend some benefits to the spouses of same-sex partners:

“Building on the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” today’s announcement is another big step toward equality in the military. Just as no individual should be forced to hide who they love to serve their county, no individual should be deprived of the benefits they have earned simply because of who they have married.

“Over the last few years, the Department of Defense has made great strides in moving our military toward equality. I applaud Secretary Panetta and President Obama for their leadership. Even with the right leadership in the Pentagon and the White House, Congress should still act. Legal barriers must be torn down so equality can be realized. That is why I will reintroduce the Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act (MSET), which would make the necessary changes to relevant sections of United States code.   

“The Administration is doing what it can within the constraints that are in place, but the job is not done. I look forward to continuing to work with the Administration and my colleagues in Congress to achieve full equality in the military.”