Six States Ignore Pentagon's Gay Spousal Benefits Order

Monday, 11 Nov 2013 04:40 PM

By Cynthia Fagen

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Six states are refusing to comply with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's order that gay spouses of National Guard members be given the same federal marriage benefits as heterosexual married couples, The New York Times reported Monday.

The edict applies to all branches of the military since the Supreme Court in June struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, which had prohibited the federal government from acknowledging same-sex marriages.

Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia so far have refused to cooperate, saying there's a conflict with state laws that don't recognize same-sex marriage.

Nearly all of the funding of National Guard units comes from the federal government, and the president can call up state units at any time.

While same-sex married couples can still sign up for the same privileges as heterosexual couples enjoy in the six states, they must sign up on a federal military base to obtain a military spousal identification card, the military's healthcare coverage, a higher housing allowance, and access to lower-priced commissaries.

Going to federal 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 told the Times.

Hagel said recently that the six states are violating federal law.

"It causes division among the ranks, and it furthers prejudice," he said. Pentagon officials have not said what steps they would take with states that do not fall in line.

Same-sex couples are concerned that some benefits offered on bases, such as support services for relatives of deployed service members, could still be blocked.

In one case, Alicia Butler and her wife, Judith Chedville, a Texas National Guard officer who spent time in Iraq, told the Times they went to Austin's Camp Mabry to apply but were turned down. They were told they would have to sign up for benefits at a federal military base, which was 70 miles away in Fort Hood.

At least 20 federal installations in Texas were processing the benefits, while Camp Mabry and four other Guard bases on state property were not.

"Sometimes it's about the indignities you make people go through," Butler told the Times. "It’s a petty way to score political points."


© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Judge Orders Extra Voting Help for Alaska Natives

Monday, 22 Sep 2014 20:37 PM

A federal judge on Monday ordered the state to take additional steps to provide voting materials to Alaska Native voters . . .

Pew Poll: Nearly Half of Americans Want More Religion in Politics

Monday, 22 Sep 2014 19:55 PM

Almost half of Americans think religion and politics should mix, according to a new survey.
 . . .

GAO: Feds' Consumer Watchdog Not Protecting Credit Data

Monday, 22 Sep 2014 19:45 PM

The agency created by President Barack Obama to protect consumers from financial fraud has amassed sensitive credit-card . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved