Oklahoma Governor Orders National Guard to Stop Processing Military Benefits for Gay Couples

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has ordered the state's National Guard to stop processing military benefits for same-sex couples, the AP reports. Last month, the Pentagon issued new orders offering partner benefits to troops with same-sex spouses.

FallinFallin spokesman Alex Weintz told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the governor was following the wish of Oklahoma voters, who approved a constitutional amendment that prohibits giving benefits of marriage to gay couples.

Because of that prohibition, Weintz said the governor’s legal staff advised the Oklahoma National Guard not to process requests for benefits from gay couples.

With the order, Fallin has joined Texas, Misssissippi and Louisiana in refusing to comply with the order and process the spousal benefits, based on state laws banning same-sex marriage. Yesterday, we reported that Florida is also deciding whether to comply with the Pentagon order.

The American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation's premier resource and support network for LGBT military families. released a statement in response:

"Since the governor of Oklahoma has decided to join Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana in playing politics with our military families, we need immediate and decisive action from the Administration and the Defense Department in affirming that all military spouses, regardless of sexual orientation, will be treated equally. Our military families should not be left vulnerable to the prejudice of state governors, and the Defense Department must use it's control of federal funds to stop this discrimination."

Comments

  1. Mike C. says

    ^^ Not to people who serve, but to their same-sex spouses.

    I wonder how many people this actually affects, would be interesting to know how many same-sex couples actually serve in the Oklahoma National Guard? I imagine it is quite small compared to the big deal she is making out of it

  2. says

    Oklahoma citizens asked to deny marriage equality benefits to those in the military would laugh at her.

    Good way to challenge her and the other states that are doing this would be for the National Guard members themselves should speak up and let their Governors know that they support their fellow members in equality.

  3. Gregory In Seattle says

    Another state militia in open rebellion against lawful orders. And the Commander-In-Chief seems perfectly happy to let them get away with willful insubordination.

  4. woody says

    These are the same republicans who go up to soldiers on the street and say “thank you for your service.”
    I guess they’re only thankful for the service of straight people. How patriotic of them.

  5. oncemorewithfeeling says

    The best part is that the lawsuits and public education that will result from this bigotry will bring marriage equality to those states — and all states — faster than it would have otherwise got there.

  6. Mary says

    My guess is that Governor Fallin is probably doing this more to appease the voters of Oklahoma than because she sincerely desires to see gay couples deprived of benefits. I know this doesn’t make it right, but I’m just pointing it out. Many Republican politicians are secretly hoping that the gay marriage issue goes away soon. But in the meantime they have to bow to the will of the majority in their state. We forget that politicians are held accountable by the voters and don’t operate as free agents. I don’t expect anyone here to like Governor Fallin, but try to keep in mind the situation she’s in.

  7. Sean says

    This is illegal and the federal government better cut off all federal funding to those filthy ingrate parasites in every single one of those disgusting Fascist states. They do not deserve a dime nor do they deserve a band-aid. Let the f@#kers fall.

  8. woody says

    Oh, mary… the situation she’s in is a lofty, powerful job that she probably wants more than she wants to stand up for fairness and compassion. If you were in that job, would you behave this way. I think you probably wouldn’t. Don’t cut her so much slack. There’s far too much evil in the world.

  9. pfalzgrae says

    Maybe the president should issue a proclamation that all marriages of LGBT military personnel should be recognized by all states as a part of his war powers. The rationale would be that it is necessary for the morale of the military while fighting the current wars. It would only be valid while we are engaged in wars but that might be forever. The emancipation proclamation would be the example.

  10. Lee Roy says

    I guess she forgot that her local laws mean nothing when the federal laws says that they are allowed to get their benefits. This is why Republicans keep losing they cry about their rights being taken away but are fine with taking rights away from others.

  11. dam846201 says

    Fallin is obviously homophobic & projecting her h8 onto the good citizens of Oklahoma. Does she not realize that the Federal Government trumps state government EVERY TIME?
    I hope Oklahomans are smart enough to remove her from office since she’s wasting their money & depriving Military Personnel of benefits to which they are entitled!

  12. daws says

    So much for support the troops, huh? Better redo those bumper stickers and bracelets to: Support the Straight Troops.

    You know…juts to be clear and all. Assholes.

  13. PAUL B. says

    States I’ve always wanted to visit…tx, la, miss and now ok. I’m wrecked that I can’t drive my rv through these deliverance states to see if the inhabitants all look earily related with unnaturally close-set eyes and arms down to their knees. I guess I’ll just go to the San Diego zoo instead.

  14. Mike Ryan says

    “and the Defense Department must use it’s control of federal funds to stop this discrimination…”

    You better bet your bippy the Defense Department damn well better cut off all federal funds to all three states, the faster the better. I refuse to see my defense tax dollars being spent in those states and I want the welcome mat ripped out from under their feet. Let their own National Guard wallow in poverty.

  15. Profe Sancho Panza says

    I’m actually surprised it took her this long, instead of being the first governor. Remember that Oklahoma is the only state in the US where Obama lost EVERY county in both elections: he only won 34% of the vote in 2008 and 33% in 2012. Opposing Obama is a no-brainer here if a politician wants to be popular.

  16. Lymis says

    Someone should point out to her that the voters never were asked and never had a chance to vote on, access to FEDERAL rights. At most, they were able to weigh in on whether they want their state to grant state recognition and state rights to gay couples.

    They are wrong either way, but this is basic civics. If she doesn’t understand that, she doesn’t belong in office. If she does understand it, she’s lying to her constituents.

  17. JT says

    I wonder how fast these states would change their laws if the boot were on the other foot. Maybe the Pentagon should mandate there be NO BENEFITS for ANYONE until EVERYONE is treated equally! Same thing with every other federal benefit. Either everyone is treated the same or no one gets the benefits.

  18. Jessie says

    Really do not understand how the National Guard could get away with this when they are partly funded by the Government. You would think the Federal government could cut funding for those that do not support their ruling. If I had a job and did not do it I would not get paid.

  19. KJPNYC says

    I was unfortunate enough to go to middle school and high school in this cesspool of a state where I was regularly bullied and tortured by homophobic christian fundamentalist rednecks. I seriously contemplated suicide throughout middle school. Mary Fallin is probably the same age as me, so it does not surprise me to hear that Oklahomans continue to discriminate against gay people and to treat us as second class citizens. Unfortunately, you are dealing with a state where a solid majority are ignorant and hateful. The best thing we can do as a community is to financially help young gay people in bad situations get out of this hostile environment to other less hostile states and to avoid pumping any pink dollars into Oklahoma. I still have family there, but I will not travel there based on my horrible childhood experiences – it is just too painful.

  20. PAUL B. says

    TIM…I hope you’re just being cute with all you’re bad spelling, grammar & punctuation. It’s funny…or tragic…not sure which. I’ll just assume you’re being funny and laugh…otherwise I suggest you seek help immediately.

  21. Gruntled says

    Why doesn’t the DOD enact a rule that says either all spouses or no spouses? Let her explain bigotry to every spouse, not this divide-and-conquer hatemongering.

  22. SFRowGuy says

    Then maybe the US Government should stop give money to those states because they are not adhering to federal law. And have the National Guard close down their bases in those states.

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