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States Defy Pentagon Order Requiring Equal Treatment for Guard Members

Jim Burroway

November 4th, 2013

Several GOP-led states have vowed to resist Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s order requiring National Guard to issue ID cards to spouses of Guard members who are in same-sex marriages. Those ID cards are critical for accessing spousal benefits. According to Reuters:

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, the Republican head of the National Governors Association, called on President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to “stop using the National Guard as a pawn in a larger social agenda,” her spokesman, Alex Weintz, said in a statement on Friday.

“The president has made it clear he supports gay marriage. He has the legal authority to order federal agencies to recognize gay marriages. He does not have the legal authority to force state agencies to do so, or to unilaterally rewrite state laws or state constitutions,” Weintz said.

Josh Havens, a spokesman for Texas Governor Rick Perry, said, “Texas Military Forces is a state agency, and as such is obligated to adhere to the Texas Constitution and the laws of this state which clearly define marriage as between one man and one woman.”

Nine states were initially identified as refusing to issue identity cards to same-sex spouses: Indiana, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina and West Virginia. Reuters reports, “Indiana notified the Pentagon on Friday it had begun issuing the cards after a month-long review, a move defense officials said they welcomed.”

Louisiana has also confirmed that they will also defy Sec. Hagel’s order, while Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said she is exploring her legal options. Georgia’s National Guard has said it will ignore Hagel’s order.

Comments

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JCF
November 4th, 2013 | LINK

See re Gov George Wallace: we’ve been down this “I’m Governor: States Rights!” road before…

CPT_Doom
November 4th, 2013 | LINK

I guess it’s time for Obama to nationalize the Guard in all those states and take them from the governors’ control.

Lar
November 4th, 2013 | LINK

There is always the option of the Pentagon cutting off all the funding that they return to the states to fund their National Guard. About 80-90% of the money used to maintain the Guard comes directly from the Fed. As such most of the full time guard members are paid for with Federal funds. Let’s see what happens when the Pentagon starts to pull on the purse strings like the GOP did last month.

Jack
November 4th, 2013 | LINK

Can’t wait til Nikky Haley orders the cannons at Fort Sumter to open fire

John
November 4th, 2013 | LINK

I’m with Lar…
The republi-tards want to cut government spending, this is an excellent opportunity not only to cut the budget but to allow them to live with the consequences of their convictions!!

Hunter
November 4th, 2013 | LINK

“Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin . . . called on President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to “stop using the National Guard as a pawn in a larger social agenda[.]”

Leave that to the teabaggers and the religious right.

Jay
November 4th, 2013 | LINK

I hope that the DOD acts decisively to force the rogue states to obey the directive from the Pentagon.

But I also hope that a servicememeber and his/her spouse file suit in federal court against the marriage bans in the states that refuse to obey, especially if they are seriously inconvenienced by having to drive a long distance to get the IDs in question. I think this kind of blatant discrimination is something that could lead swiftly to having the marriage bans declared unconstitutional, especially given the deference traditionally paid to the Department of Defense by federal courts.

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