Oklahoma National Guard To Deny Spousal Benefits To All Couples To Avoid Serving Gay Couples

Yesterday we told you about Texas' National Guard denying housing benefits to service members in same-sex relationships, furthering a protracted battle being waged by southern states attempting to shirk Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's orders, issued in the wake of the Supreme Court's gutting of section 3 of DOMA, that same-sex couples must receive the same federal benefits as their heterosexual counterparts. Now it appears that Oklahoma will drop all spousal benefits for National Guardsmen and women, regardless of whether they are in same-sex or opposite-sex relationships, so as to avoid having to comply with Hagel's order.

As ThinkProgress reports, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) insists that complying with the federal government's orders to provide benefits to same-sex couples would violate the state's ban on same-sex marriage and "the will of the people":

Mary_FallinFALLIN: Oklahoma law is clear. The state of Oklahoma does not recognize same-sex marriages, nor does it confer marriage benefits to same-sex couples. The decision reached today allows the National Guard to obey Oklahoma law without violating federal rules or policies. It 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.

Fallin’s tactic mirrors other attempts to punish an entire group to avoid serving the gay community. When marriage equality came to the District of Columbia, Catholic Charities decided to stop offering partner benefits to all employees to avoid having to provide them to any employee’s same-sex spouse. In various states, Catholic Charities has also abandoned all adoption services to avoid having to provide them to same-sex couples.

Schools have also employed this strategy to try to block gay-straight alliances from forming. In 2011, for example, Flour Bluff Independent School District in Corpus Christi, Texas considered banning all extracurricular clubs to avoid allowing a GSA to form.


  1. Mike Ryan says

    You really want to p*ss off your people deny them all benefits because of your pathetic bigoted attitudes. This should be fun because now all those heterosexual spouses are going to feel the pinch and hatred of their own elected officials. Good for them. Perhaps they will rise up and throw every d*amn one of their bigoted elected officials out of office.

  2. Wavin' Dave says

    “Where the wind comes sweeping down the plain!” indeed. The near unfathomable, desperate carryings-on in Republican-controlled states is not gonna serve them well. “The wind comes right behind the rain,” don’t forget!

  3. HadenoughBS says

    It would seem that this homophobic governor can’t now claim that being an equal opportunity bigot toward both gay and straight National Guard members still doesn’t countermand lawful DOD orders on the treatment of guardsmen. C’mon Secretary of Defense Hagel, it’s time to send the National Guard legal eagles after the policies of Gov. Fallin, Gov. Perry here in Texas and those other Southern states who are failing their National Guard members. Enough is enough.

  4. Rowan says

    So again, where are our resident right wing LGBT bro’s??? Can’t wait for you to comment on ANOTHER hateful right-wing BS.

  5. JackFknTwist says

    Nice cross, Mary……..
    “Old Jesus would just puke !”-Holden Caulfield.

    And what a mean spirited runt (with a ‘c’) you are.

  6. oncemorewithfeeling says

    She just drove an army (so to speak) of formerly anti-gay people over to our side.

    These Republican crazies really have no clue, do they? They’re some of the best friends we have.

  7. SteveP says

    I admit, I’m glad to see this happen. For once it’s equal treatment for all. It’s these kinds of incidents, and the other states refusing to process paperwork for gay couples that will highlight the inequality and push for reform on a full, federal level.

  8. A says

    It’s not so bad. Everyone can still get benefits, they just have to travel to the federal facility. I kind of wish they were denying the benefits to everyone for real, because then maybe Oklahoma would have to think seriously about changing their laws about marriage equality

  9. Mike Ryan says

    Ahhh but @Phoenix Justice it won’t be because all those “gays” are their own sons, daughters, fathers, uncles, mothers and aunts. Let’s wait and see.

  10. The Milkman says

    “It is her hope that all that anger will be directed at the “gays”, for wanting equal rights.”

    But what she doesn’t understand is that the people who would hate us for wanting equal rights already hate us. What she’s doing is putting the hurt on the movable middle. Why not outlaw marriage licenses and adoptions for straight people while she’s at it?

    We ought to send her a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates.

  11. Fox says

    Meanwhile ignoring the fact that gay citizens in her state pay both federal and state taxes and yet she’s denying them access to benefits.

  12. Hey Darlin' says

    When you are an elected official it’s your duty to find a solution to the problems of your state NOT create new unnecessary problems with the sole intent to halt equality. She’ll become a mere speed bump in the road to equality. The more opposition the better when it comes to rallying troops.

    If you make the only option for equality marriage how will that stop the push for marriage equality?

  13. Mitch says

    She has cemented her place in history. It’s just that when the history is told, she won’t be the Rosa Parks or the Abraham Lincoln or Harriet Tubman or Martin Luther King. She’ll be the slave owner, the Klansman, the picture of bigotry in 2013.

    Social media and search engines will ensure that she and others of her ilk will remain a shame for generations to come.

  14. JackFknTwist says

    I don’t understand how an individual has power to deprive a class of people their rights under the law.

    Yo, Tea Party …….this is the tyranny you keep shouting about !

  15. Rexford says

    Oklahoman’s should be worried. Apparently, God’s not listening to Mary…

    “On July 14, 2011, Governor Fallin responded to a heat wave sweeping her state by asking citizens to seek divine intervention. “The power of prayer is a wonderful thing, and I would ask every Oklahoman to look to a greater power this weekend and ask for rain,” Fallin said in a news release.


    On Oct 15, 2013 Governor Mary Fallin declared a drought emergency Tuesday for much of southwestern Oklahoma and the panhandle. “These five counties have faced three years of unrelenting drought,” Fallin said. “It’s not just an inconvenience; for many in these communities it has caused real economic hardship.” Those counties will now be able to get financial assistance from the Emergency Drought Relief Fund.

  16. Joe says

    Interesting. This decision is technically consistent with the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. But I don’t know if Gov Fallin understands the unintentional consequences of what she is is doing. Citizens of her state that will be harmed because of this might take the time to think about the consequences of discriminatory law. These citizens will talk to their friends and family about it. This decision might hasten the day that the people of Oklahoma will come to support marriage equality.

  17. Terry says

    Since all the states national guards receive the bulk of their monies from the federal government……just stop the flow of money into the state. Use the power of the purse strings.

  18. Rick says

    Especially my mother. She was such a selfish cow. She’d never let me perform oral sex on my dad, so I had to sate my thirst by blowing my neighbor’s dog and my senile grandfather. Clearly, it didn’t mess me up at all and clearly women are to blame.

    I’m Rick, and one day when I finally die nobody will give a hoot.

  19. Clayton says

    People against marriage equality often claim that they aren’t anti-gay. Instead they say that they just want to support and uphold traditional families. Governor Fallin has just exposed that position for the lie that it is.

  20. *****overTX says

    What a pretty picture she presents. A smile that is nearly cracking her face because it is so fake and a cross on her chest that represents her pseudo-christianity. Oh, what a Pretty Woman.

  21. And I Am Tellin' You...... says

    Stop reporting in First Person, you idiot! This isn’t some grade school newspaper gossip column! Or is it?

    OH. Carry on.

  22. emjayay says

    Writing in the first person when reporting in blogs is very common. Even in blogs not named after an individual like this one.

  23. Endorado says

    A classic tactic. Make the aggrieved party the cause for a broader group suffering. It’s like punishing the troop because one guy has a smudge on his shoe.

  24. E.A. Blair says

    Any state that does this should be threatened with having all its military operations withdrawn. How would Texas bigots feel if it were a choice of allowing spousal privileges to same sex military couples or losing Fort Hood?

  25. SFRowGuy says

    Can’t/Won’t support our troops? Then I don’t think the military should operate any bases in those states. Have a natural disaster? I’m sorry, but you’ll have to wait for the troops to deploy from someplace that supports them … mmm, maybe a week or two, because we need congressional approval to deploy troops to regions that we don’t have a standing presence.

  26. Bill TICE says

    Once again, Fallin shows that she flunked govt.101. She fails to follow the basic hierarchy of United States Laws. The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land and ALL other laws are subservient to it. This goes for city ordinances, state and federal laws AND, of course the constitutions of the several states, including Oklahoma. She just continues to exhibit her ignorance in this type of response. Poor Oklahoma and shame what she does to our troops.

  27. Erik Schaeffer says

    Hello Sean,

    I really disagree with the matter happening in Oklahoma because I believe that there is already a huge gap in benefits among heterosexual couples and same-sex couples. I have also found that research supports this and offer many sources and trends that support my views.

    If you are interested in my post and/or my research, please read my blog at http://dev.isucomm.iastate.edu/thegreenroom/eschaeffer/2013/12/02/the-benefits-or-lack-there-of-of-homosexual-couples/. Feel free to give me your insights and perceptions.

    Erik Schaeffer
    The Green Room at Iowa State University