In a decision that could produce new business for VA facilities in Arkansas, the Obama administration today said that the Department of Veterans Affairs would provide spousal benefits to gay men and lesbians despite a federal statute that limits such benefits to veterans’ spouses who are “of the opposite sex.”

From the New York Times:

The move will allow the same-sex spouses of service members to receive health care benefits, and widows and widowers from same-sex marriages to receive survivor benefits, among other matters.

The step was taken because of slightly different language in a statute on VA benefits compared with the portion of the Defense of Marriage Act that was struck down by the court. The administration believes the VA statute is also unconstitutional.