Main | Monday, November 11, 2013

Six States Continue To Defy Pentagon On Spousal Benefits For Gay Servicemembers

The New York Times reports:
While a majority of states ban same-sex marriages, most are not fighting the new policy. But Pentagon officials say that in addition to Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and West Virginia have balked. Each has cited a conflict with state laws that do not recognize same-sex marriages. (A West Virginia official said, however, that the state intended to follow the directive.) While the president has the power to call National Guard units into federal service — and nearly all Guard funding comes from the federal government — the states say the units are state agencies that must abide by state laws. Requiring same-sex Guard spouses to go to federally owned bases “protects the integrity of our state Constitution and sends a message to the federal government that they cannot simply ignore our laws or the will of the people,” Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma said last week.
Officials in the six states claim that they are not literally defying the Pentagon because couples can still obtain the necessary documents on federal bases, some of which are hours away from National Guard locations.

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