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US to offer benefits to spouses of gay troops: Officials

Published on Feb 6, 2013 6:57 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Pentagon plans to extend some benefits to the spouses of gay and lesbian troops, officials said on Tuesday.

The decision was expected to be formally announced within days, before outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta retires this month, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

But the officials could not say which benefits would be provided to same-sex couples.

Since the Pentagon lifted a ban on openly gay recruits serving in uniform in September 2011, it has grappled with questions about benefits as it must comply with a law prohibiting the federal government from granting same-sex marriages legal status.

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