The U.S. military has been struggling with its policy on dependent benefits. On the one hand, any large, complex organization would like to have a simple rule for who qualifies as a dependent, so it can exert some predictable control over a very large fraction of the cost of its wage packages. The easiest rule, by far, is to let the bright line of marriage define the family. On the other hand, the trend also has been to avoid discriminating against gay partners, and requiring marriage is a cruel trick to play if marriage isn't available.
Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that gay marriages must be acknowledged, the military evidently is reverting to the assumption that people who want coverage for their partners had better go ahead and marry them. It's going to be interesting to see how this trend plays out against the countervailing trend, which is against letting the Man make rules about who's a family and who's not. Can common-law gay marriages be far away? Will there be shotgun marriages for gays who want to adopt?