The Texas National Guard has refused to accept and process requests from same-sex couples for benefits, according to a Wednesday report from the Associated Press.
Despite a directive from the Pentagon, the Guard, along with state-owned offices in Mississippi have pushed back, leaning, in both cases, on state laws that prohibit same-sex marriages, the AP report stated.
Texas Governor Rick Perry’s spokesman said that all military forces, Texas National Guard included, must hold to state laws.
Tim Powell, a spokesman for the Mississippi National Guard, added that the crucial factor for identifying where spouses in same-sex marriages could apply for benefits was up to the property owner, adding that only National Guard offices on federal property could take applications in Mississippi due to the state’s constitutional ban.
“It is our intent to provide benefits and services to our men and women in uniform and at the same time abide by federal and state statutes,” Powell said.
In comments to AP, Alicia Butler said she was refused by the Texas Military Forces headquarters in Austin early Tuesday.
She said the headquarters advised to get her ID card at Fort Hood, an Army post that’s located about 90 miles away.
Butler is legally married to an Iraq war veteran and has been since 2009. The couple have a 5-month-old child.
“It’s so petty. It’s not like it’s going to stop us from registering or stop us from marrying. It’s a pointed way of saying, ‘We don’t like you,'” Butler said, adding her concern that survivor benefits might be withheld if something happened to her wife.
“People say, ‘Why don’t you live somewhere else?’… Well, my ancestors came here five generations ago to get away from this kind of stuff, and this is my state and I’m not going to go away.”
Texas National Guard officials do seem to be caught between a rock and a hard place on the issue.
Unfortunately for many same-sex couples, that doesn’t solve their dilemma any sooner, and it’s hardly the first hiccup they’ve experienced since the US Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) earlier this year.
Recently, it was revealed that IRS gay marriage tax decisions will likely result in higher taxes for same-sex couples.
Do you think the US is heading for another Little Rock Central situation with the Texas National Guard?
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