6 States Defy Pentagon on Gay Military Benefits
Couples being forced to travel to federal bases to get ID card needed for benefits
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Nov 11, 2013 7:00 AM CST
Updated Nov 11, 2013 7:43 AM CST
A Soldier wearing an Army t-shirt holds flags during the gay pride parade Saturday, July 21, 2012, in San Diego.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

(Newser) – In 44 states, the gay spouse of an active-duty National Guard member can register for a military spouse ID card at his or her partner's base and begin getting federal marriage benefits. But in six states, it's not so easy. As the New York Times explains, bases in Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia haven't followed the Pentagon's order regarding benefits, and instead have instructed couples to travel (often long distances to) federal bases to get the ID. Their logic: The National Guard units are state agencies that have to adhere to state laws—like gay marriage bans.

Says Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin: Sending gay military couples 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." The Times recounts the story of one couple whose registration for benefits was rejected at Camp Mabry in Austin, with officials there suggesting the pair head to Fort Hood, which is 70 miles away. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says such a policy "causes division among the ranks, and it furthers prejudice"—while breaking federal law.

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Nov 24, 2013 9:46 PM CST
Republican governors, having waged war against voters and women, now begin a campaign against our military! We must rid our country of these dunces!
Nov 13, 2013 9:24 AM CST
Simple. Close all bases in these states. Award no defense contracts to contractors in these states. Eliminate all defense spending going to these states. I'm sure people and contractors in other states would love to get those jobs.
Nov 12, 2013 7:16 AM CST
Supremacy clause trumps 10th EVERY SINGLE TIME 10th amendment has been used to oppress people in the past (jim crowe) Supremacy clause has been used to liberate those very same people.