Skip to comments.Perry may defy Guard same-sex benefits
Posted on 11/01/2013 9:47:22 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and other Republican governors might defy Defense Secretary Chuck Hagels call for all state National Guards to issue ID cards and full benefits to same-sex couples.
A spokesman for Perry said Friday that the state National Guard was obligated to follow the state constitution, which outlaws same-sex marriage.
The 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 women, Perry spokesman Josh Havens said.
Hagel on Thursday slammed Texas and eight other state National Guards for denying same-sex couples ID cards, saying they were violating federal law.
The Pentagon directed same-sex couples to receive full federal benefits after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in June.
This is wrong, Hagel said in a speech at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). It causes division among our ranks, and it furthers prejudice, which DOD has fought to extinguish, as has the ADL.
Hagel said he was tapping National Guard Chief Gen. Frank Grass to resolve any issues with the state National Guards. A senior Defense official said Hagel was prepared to take further action if the states did not comply.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin may also refuse to agree to Hagels directive.
A spokesman for the Republican governor said President Obama was seeking to usurp the power of the states and undermine governors authority.
Her priority is to obey and protect Oklahomas laws while supporting the men and women of the Guard, Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz said.
The president has made it clear he supports gay marriage, he added. 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 that Fallin was working with her attorney general to evaluate the legal options available to the Oklahoma guard.
The state National Guards are typically under the control of states and their governors, but the Guard can be called into federal service by the president.
Another Defense official told The Hill that Texas was wrong to suggest its state constitution trumped federal law.
"These are federal ID cards paid for with federal funding to provide federally mandated benefits, the official said.
The official declined to speculate on what legal options could be taken if the states did not begin issuing the ID cards.
Texas officials have argued that same-sex spouses are able to travel to federal military facilities in Texas to receive the ID cards.
The Associated Press reported in September that Maj. Gen. John Nichols, the commanding general of Texas Military Forces, wrote to service members to say that his agency could not process applications from same-sex couples. But he said the Texas National Guard would not deny benefits to anyone.
We encourage anyone affected by this issue to enroll for benefits at a federal installation," Nichols wrote.
Advocates for same-sex couples in the military say the law is clear that states cannot use the Guard to deny benefits and not issue ID cards.
Its a false argument because the vast majority of all National Guard resources are federal resources, said Chris Rowzee, a spokeswoman for the Military Partner Association.
But several of the states listed by the Pentagon Thursday said they were being unfairly singled out.
The Indiana National Guard issued a statement Friday that said it had not refused same-sex benefits but that it had delayed for one month before it began issuing them.
"The Indiana National Guard started processing same-sex benefits on Oct. 3, Indiana Guard spokeswoman Lt. Col. Cathleen Van Bree said in a statement.
The delay in processing benefits was due to the Indiana National Guard conferring with the Indiana attorney general's office in order to understand the impact of these new benefits on state-active duty, where state funds are used to pay service members.
The defense official said that the Indiana Guard told the Pentagon in September they weren't going to issue the ID cards until the review was complete, and it was "welcome news" the state was now complying with Pentagon policy.
Lawrence Messina, a spokesman for the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs, said there had been no instances in West Virginia where benefits were denied, and at least one ID card was granted to a same-sex spouse.
Im not aware of anyone being turned away, he said.
Good for Perry
The liberals are trying to have it both ways.
The Supreme Court decision did not find a constitutional right to homosexual marriage. The decision compelled the federal government to recognize homosexual marriages from states which recognize same. The decision did not compel states which don’t recognize these marriages to do so.
So the liberals are trying to have it both ways. On the one hand, they are saying that the states, not the federal government, ultimately decide definitions of marriage, as per the Supreme Court decision. On the other hand, they are trying to say that since the federal government recognizes homosexual marriage from those states, that the federal government now will impose this policy on the entire nation.
This is contradictory, but, that’s nothing new to liberals. To the liberal, anything which advances a liberal cause is legal, regardless of what any written law says.
Eric the Holder just woke up and said, “Did I just hear someone say they needed one of my lawsuit specials?”
He kicks butt in Texas for sure!
I hope. 2 people of the same sex masturbating each other does not equal marriage.
Last I checked consummating a marriage required intercourse. Impossible for two women and I don’t think what two men do would count either.
While it is possible to defy a person, a law, or a constitution, it is not possible to defy a benefit.
The article writer should have used "deny," instead.
This is good. However, the state may have to pick up the entire salary of the entire state national guard. Texas luckily can afford it.
Stay Strong and Christian, Gov. Perry.....Praying for you!!!
Good because our Gov Nathan Deal is also taking a stand.
As I understand it, It’s State manpower with Federal equipment, the high dollar stuff such as tanks and planes. That’s a pretty powerful club to hold over your head.