Non-chargeable leave for same-sex marriages


Non-chargeable leave for same-sex marriages

by: Kim Suchek | .
. | .
published: November 26, 2013

Hello military community,

I hope you and your families had a wonderful Veterans Day and were able to enjoy the spirit of the day by attending many of the holiday events being held in your community.

Since my article in September regarding same-sex marriage and military benefits I have had several letters asking about getting married in Korea and Japan, if this was possible without taking leave.

Each state and country has specific laws regarding same-sex marriage. In most cases overseas, those wishing to marry will need to travel to a different location in order to marry their partners. For this reason, the Department of Defense has implemented a policy to allow military personnel non-chargeable leave for the purpose of traveling to a jurisdiction where same-sex marriages are permitted.

As operational requirements permit, commanders currently may allow military personnel in same-sex relationships up to 10 days of non-chargeable leave for the purpose of traveling to a jurisdiction that allows same-sex couples to marry if they are stationed more than 100 miles from one of those jurisdictions.
So to answer your question: No. You will need to take leave, but at least you won’t be charged for it.

A couple letters asked what counties or locations that allow same-sex marriage were the closest to their base. To help here is a list of countries and states that allow same-sex marriage:

The Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Massachusetts, Spain, South Africa, California, Norway, Sweden, Connecticut, Denmark,  Iowa, Vermont, Washington DC, Coquille Indian Tribe (Oregon), Mexico City (Mex), Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, New Hampshire, New York state, Quintana Roo (Mexico), Suquamish Indian Tribe (Washington), Maine, Maryland, Uruguay, New Zealand, Delaware, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (Michigan), Rhode Island, Minnesota and  France.

Places where same-sex marriages are recognized but not performed are: Israel, Mexico (all states) and Tasmania and Queensland, Australia.

The places where same-sex marriages are imminent are Scotland, Washington State (USA), United Kingdom, Ireland, Finland, Nepal, Slovenia, Paraguay and Brazil.

Keep in mind you will be covered by your insurance benefits no matter what state or country you live in or visit but in locations that do not except same-sex marriages other restrictions will still stand. For example, Australia’s national government does not recognize same-sex marriages that were performed overseas, nor does it allow or recognize those performed in country.

I hope this answered your questions. Thank you for writing in and trusting me with your questions.

Blessings from my family to yours,

Kim Suchek

If you have any questions or concerns or would like to share a story or situation, contact me at and visit my website at for updated information and other resources not listed in my book.