The anti-gay American Family Association (AFA) is outraged at the thought that same-sex military couples could be buried alongside heterosexual military couples.

The group reacted on Tuesday to the announcement by Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta that the Pentagon would be granting a slate of partner benefits to gay and lesbian personnel in the US military.

In an ‘action alert’, the AFA appeared horrified at the news that same-sex partners of military staff would be given military ID cards, giving them access to on-base “movie theatres and gyms”.

It was also disturbed that should the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) be struck down by the Supreme Court, the Pentagon intends to go even further.

“This means the military will recognise homosexual lovers as ‘married’ and will give a full slate of benefits, including burial in Arlington National Cemetery,” said the group.

On its website, it posted a doctored picture of a gravestone at the historic Arlington National Cemetery emblazed with a rainbow and, below it, the text “Not an actual photo… yet”.

“Panetta, at every turn, has exposed the military to open homosexuality, which presents an unacceptable risk to good order, discipline, morale and unit cohesion – qualities essential for combat readiness,” said the AFA.

It urged followers to “send a letter to your members of Congress, letting them know that, on their watch, they have allowed the security of our nation to be endangered by focusing on social experimentation, rather than defence”.

DOMA bars the federal government from recognising same-sex unions (even those legal in individual states). It is being contested in the Supreme Court, and, if repealed, would allow the Pentagon to grant same-sex military couples all the benefits given to married heterosexual couples.

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