The McLaughlin's at their Massachusetts home
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Gay marriage: Same-sex military couple speaks out

As the US Supreme Court weighs whether or not to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act, a military woman and her wife have explained why the law has made their life together difficult.

Maj Shannon McLaughlin is serving in the Massachusetts National Guard and has two children with her wife, Casey. Even though they can legally marry in their home state, the Defense of Marriage Act restricts benefits, notably healthcare, for same-sex military spouses.

"I'm not recognised as a wife," says Casey McLaughlin about the current policy. "I am specifically targeted as being somebody who is not equal."

The BBC spoke to the couple on the eve of the court's decision.

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