Texas National Guard Denying Military Housing Allowances for Gay Couples

Over the past few months, we've reported on a number of southern states, including Texas, that are openly defying Pentagon orders granting certain spousal benefits to same-sex military couples. Now, it appears the Lone Star State is taking its anti-gay crusade a step further by refusing to process military housing allowances for gay couples as well. The Washington Post reports: 

Texas Military ForcesThe Texas Military Force, which includes the state's guard forces, acknowledged on Monday that it was requiring all same-sex couples wanting to apply for a housing allowance at a "with dependent" rate must do so at a federal installation.

The American Military Partner Association, which represents gay military spouses, said the Texas National Guard has already turned away at least one couple that applied for the benefit at a state facility.

The group said the affected service member had chosen to remain anonymous with the public due to concerns about retaliation affecting her career and because of a "clear absence of protection under the Department of Defense or Texas Military Forces non-discrimination policy."

"By refusing to treat same-gender military couples equally, the Texas Military Forces, under the leadership of Gov. Rick Perry, is creating a hostile climate of discrimination and has sent a strong message that Department of Defense policies and direct orders by the secretary of defense will not be followed," said AMPA president Stephen Peters. 

In a half-assed response, the Texas National Guard on Monday claimed that it wasn't actually denying benefits to same-sex couples, despite its requirement that gays must apply for the housing rate at separate federal installations.

"We want every gay National Guard member entitled to benefits to obtain those benefits," said Texas Military Forces spokeswoman Laura Lopez. "We are not denying any benefits for people who are entitled to them, to include housing."

Lopez added that gay couples who have been approved for the "with dependent" housing allowances will "absolutely get that rate."

Previously, "Chuck Hagel Blasts Rogue States Over Gay Spousal Benefits, Issues Stern Order" [tlrd]

Comments

  1. Fox says

    There’s also a Texas an almost immediate unemployment benefit that trailing spouses of military personnel are eligible for when they follow their husband or wife to the state when he or she is assigned there by the DoD. I assume the state will be denying gay spouses that benefit as well. Lots of good court challenges showing blatant discrimination on the horizon.

  2. Geoff says

    Secede…please, Texas. You hate it here anyway. There’s an island of garbage in the Pacific you can have!!! With a few of the larger cruise ships we can do this. We want you to be happy. Bless your hearts.

  3. FFS says

    It’s small comfort, I’m sure, but highlighting the instances in which Republicans gleefully screw over our service members out of sheer anti-gay animus will be the most effective fulcrum to sway public opinion in favor of equality.

    Hang in there!

  4. Jim says

    There’s a simple way to handle this: if governors of states refuse to obey federal law, arrest them and put them in federal prison. If they want to sue the government, let them do so from their prison cells. It’s time for Obama to stop being the national community organizer and be president of the United States and the commander-in-chief. It’s time for the commander-in-chief to stand up for the gay men and women who wear this country’s uniform and who serve their country in the military. Get some backbone, Mr. President.

  5. says

    1. Let Texas secede, after offering citizenship to those Texas citizens wishing to remain in the US, but with the provision that they relocate within a set time period.
    2. Remove all US property from the former state to include military, NASA, and other government agency properties. For Federally-owned land, take an equivalent total amount from Texas to be attached to one of the bordering states.
    3. Establish the new international border on the Texas-Louisiana, Texas-Arkansas, Texas-Oklahoma, and Texas-New Mexico frontiers.
    4. Offer statehood to Puerto Rico, USVI, Guam, other US territories, as well as the District of Columbia.
    5. Treat Texas as we would Mexico or Canada for border passage, taxes, and tariffs. Require a visa for travel.
    6. Try to wipe the grins from our faces for unloading America’s sewer.

  6. RexT says

    Rick Perry, Mary Fallin … will leave their Governor positions with a legacy of shame forever theirs. Their outright contempt of citizens serving in our military, willing to put their lives on the line when necessary, speaks for itself.

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