President Obama signs the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal Act of 2010 lifting the ban on homosexuals serving openly in the US armed forces at the Department of the Interior in Washington on Dec. 22. Jim Young/Reuters
A Code Pink protester holds a sign asking for the repeal of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy during the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Pentagon report's findings regarding the policy in Washington on Dec. 2. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
Sen. Carl Levin (D) of Michigan (c.) makes a statement while Sen. Joe Lieberman (Ind.) of Connecticut and Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona listen as the US Senate Armed Services committee continues a hearing on the report of the Department of Defense Working Group that conducted a comprehensive review of the issues associated with a repeal of section 654 of title 10, United States Code, 'Policy Concerning Homosexuality in the Armed Forces,' on Capitol Hill in Washington on Dec. 3. Hyungwon Kang/Reuters
From left, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey Jr., Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead, Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Marine Corps Gen. James Cartwright, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, and Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp Jr. testify on Capitol Hill in Washington on Dec. 3 before the Senate Armed Service Committee's hearing on the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy. Alex Brandon/AP
Demonstrators listen to a speaker during a protest, urging the Senate not to go on vacation until it passes the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' which prevents gay and lesbians from serving openly in the military, on Capitol Hill in Washington on Dec. 10. Molly Riley/Reuters
Retired Navy commander Zoe Dunning (c.) celebrates the vote by the US Senate at the LGBT Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Dec. 18. The Senate agreed to do away with the military's 17-year ban on openly gay troops and sent President Obama legislation to overturn the Clinton-era policy known as 'Don't ask, Don't tell." For Ms. Dunning, the vote ended a long struggle that included two military discharge hearings after she declared she was gay. Dunning eventually was allowed to remain in the Navy. Paul Chinn/San Francisco Chronicle/AP
Cassandra Melnikow (l.) and her sister Victoria Melnikow (r.) watch in New York City's Times Square as news of the Senate approving the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is displayed outside ABC Television's Times Square studios on Dec. 18. Tina Fineberg/AP
Joe Solmonese (l.), president of the Human Rights Campaign, sings 'God Bless America' at the end of an enrollment ceremony for the bill to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' on Capitol Hill in Washington on Dec. 21. Alex Brandon/AP
Rep. Barney Frank (D) of Massachusetts makes remarks as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) of California and Senator Patrick Leahy (D) of Vermont look on, before Ms. Pelosi signed the bill repealing the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' policy against gays, to send to the White House to be enacted into law, at the US Capitol in Washington on Dec. 21. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi signs the repeal of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law in an enrollment ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington on Dec. 21. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (r.) applauds as former service member Sgt. First Class Stacy Vasquez (l.), current service member Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, and former service member Major Mike Almy hold the signed bill to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' during an enrollment ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington on Dec. 21. Alex Brandon/AP
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel outlined a new policy to 'treat all married military personnel equally,' including providing 10 days' paid leave for same-sex couples to travel to a state where gay marriage is legal.
ByAnna Mulrine, Staff writer
The Pentagon announced Wednesday that it will now extend benefits, including health insurance and base housing, to same-sex spouses of US troops.