Texas, Mississippi Won't Honor Troops' Gay Marriage Benefits

Meanwhile, a new same-sex marriage battle brewing in New Mexico

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 4, 2013 4:09 PM CDT

(Newser) – Texas and Mississippi are defying a Defense Department directive (and a Supreme Court ruling) granting full benefits to troops in same-sex marriages, by denying those benefits to their respective national guards. In a statement yesterday, the commander of Texas' guard said that the federal rule violates Texas' "Family Code," and that it would therefore be "unable to enroll same-sex families … until we receive legal clarification," NPR reports. A Rick Perry spokesman said that Texas forces must obey state law.

Mississippi, meanwhile, said that same-sex spouses could apply for benefits on federally-owned property, but not on Mississippi-owned ground. Mississippi and Texas both have constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. Things are getting interesting, meanwhile, in the one state where same-sex marriage isn't explicitly banned or allowed. In recent weeks, clerks in several New Mexico counties have independently issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Slate reports. Some Republican state legislators are vowing to fight the licenses in court—one called them "pure lawlessness"—while Democrats are rallying behind the rogue clerks.

A Rick Perry spokesman tells NPR that Texas troops must obey Texas law.   (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
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