Marriage Resources & Family Support

Wedding-cake-with-a-groom-couple-and-a-bride-coupleMPFC Marriage Resources for Military Families
In recognition of the important role spouse and family benefits play in providing security and stability to our families, the Department of Defense has extended benefits to spouses regardless of sexual orientation.

Wedding Tips for LGBT Military Couples:

  • Marrying at City Hall by the Boston City Clerk? Typically, the cost of having this done is $60 plus a $15 filing fee. Well, if you are active duty military, the $60 fee is waived.
  • Need a chaplain to officiate your wedding? Email us at with your location/base and we can connect you with friendly Chaplains or Officiants near you
  • The marriage landscape is changing fast. What states allow same-sex marriage? Check for an updated list at:
  • Domestic Partnership? Many states will require you to have dissolve your domestic partnership prior to your marriage. Please check before your plan to get married.


Beneficiaries eligible through marriage include:

  • a spouse
  • stepchild(ren)
  • parent(s)-in-law

Access to marriage for LGB service members is limited within the United States. LGB service members who wish to marry, but are stationed at a location more than 100 miles from a place where they may legally marry, should keep in mind:

• The Department of Defense will provide up to 7 days of non-chargeable marriage leave for service members stationed within the contiguous United States (CONUS), which includes the 48 U.S. states on the continent of North America including the District of Columbia, and up to 10 days for service members stationed outside of the continental U.S. (OCONUS)

• Many states that provide access to civil marriage for LGB military couples do not require residency within the state in order to obtain a marriage license

• The Department of Defense will recognize a legal, same-sex marriage when determining benefits eligibility even if the state where the service member is stationed does not recognize same-sex marriage

Many LGB service members may find it necessary to travel out of state to obtain a marriage to provide dependent benefits for their families.  For service members making wedding travel plans, keep in mind:

• In many states, a license application must be submitted (often in person) one to several days prior to the marriage date

• In many states, the marriage ceremony must physically take place within the state where the license was granted

Required documentation, waiting periods, required officiant credentials, and other rules vary from state to state. The following links may be used as a starting point to research the marriage requirements for each of the following marriage equality states, where residency is not a requirement:

• California (residency not required)

o California Marriage License, Registration and Ceremony Information

• Connecticut (residency not required)

o State Vital Records Office – Marriage License and Certificate

• Delaware (residency not required)

o Clerk of the Peace – Marriage Licenses

• District of Columbia (residency not required – 3 day waiting period)

o Marriage Matters in the District of Columbia

• Hawaii (Starting Dec 2, 2013)

• Iowa (residency not required)

o Iowa Marriage Application

• Illinois

• Maine (residency not required)

o Getting Married in Maine

• Maryland  (residency not required)

o Marriage License Information

• Massachusetts (residency not required)

o How to get married in Massachusetts

• Minnesota (residency not required)

o Marriage Licenses in Minnesota

• New Hampshire (residency not required)

o Marriage in New Hampshire – Secretary of State (PDF)

• New Jersey

• New Mexico (residency not required)
o New Mexico County Clerk Information Page
The local County Clerk’s Office is the only agency permitted to issue marriage licenses in New Mexico. You can find information on obtaining a marriage license on the website for each county. New Mexico issue of gay and lesbian marriage license policy may vary depending on localities.

• New York  (residency not required)

o Information on Getting Married in New York State

• Rhode Island (residency not required)

o How to Get a Marriage License in Rhode Island

• Vermont (residency not required)

o Getting Married in Vermont

• Washington (residency not required)

o Get a Marriage License in the State of Washington
For Washington State, look online for the appropriate county for where you want to get married and download the form ahead of time. It is preferred that it be completed in office but if that is not possible (one person has to go ahead due to the 3 day waiting period) then the other signature needs to be notarized and the other can be witnessed in the office. In addition, you would also need both sets of parents’ birth-dates and birth locations as well as mothers’ maiden names.


Do you have information on resources MPFC can include on this page? Please contact us!

Need a Chaplain or Officiant for your wedding? Email us at with your location/base and we can connect you with friendly Chaplains or Officiants near you.

MPFC Marriage Travel Assistance Project: Help us build our resources!
MPFC is conducting research on the financial impact on service members (especially junior enlisted personnel) of out-of-state travel associated with obtaining the legal marriage certificate required to enroll same-sex partners in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). For more information, please click here.


Wedding Resources!
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