Gay Marriage | Military | Texas

Texas Tried To Drop National Guard Benefits For Gay Couples, Backs Down

Texas National Guard
In the continuing race to see which state can be the most regressive, Texas is taking notes from Oklahoma and tried halting all spousal benefits for the National Guard in a convoluted method to avoid being forced to recognized legally married gay couples, which would violate the Texas state constitution. 

This resulted in a dispute with the Department of Defense who insist that all of their troops be treated equally, regardless of the state they happen to be stationed in. As of Tuesday, the Texas National Guard revealed that they have resolved their dispute with the backing down.

Despite the initial resistance, the Texas National Guard is now considered to be in compliance with the Department of Defense's demands that spousal benefits for all couples, gay or straight, be recognized. Members of the Texas National Guard can now have spousal benefits processed at both state- and federally-run installations. 

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  1. Texas can now officially suck it.

    Posted by: Tristram | Nov 30, 2013 10:23:05 AM

  2. Suck it, yes. (It always has.) But not in a good way!

    Posted by: Mike | Nov 30, 2013 10:53:29 AM

  3. Which they *claim* or *pretend* violates the Texas constitution. Which isn't the case of course, since the National Guard doesn't actually belong to the states, but is mostly federally funded and controlled. Especially in this case, which dealt entirely with federal benefits, administered by federal personnel on federal equipment.

    Posted by: Steve | Nov 30, 2013 10:54:07 AM

  4. True, Steve. But Federal law always prevails over state constitution or law.

    Still, back in the days of segregation, Texas passed a law that said that Texas law trumped Federal law. Any high school civics student knew that was unconstitutional, but members of the Texas legislature were, and still are, stupid bigots.

    Posted by: Joel | Nov 30, 2013 12:13:14 PM

  5. If they don't comply with Federal Law, they should be cut off from Federal Funds. This can be accomplished by executive order! Let's see them run the National Guard entirely on the backs of state taxpayers!

    Posted by: Gay Guy | Nov 30, 2013 1:03:37 PM

  6. I've been wondering what threats or incentives these state were given to back down. kind of a quick turn-around for there not to be.

    Posted by: mike/ | Nov 30, 2013 1:49:13 PM

  7. @ JOEL :
    Is it mandatory for the State of Texas representatives to hold some minimum level of education ?
    Do they have to have a High School diploma ?
    Must they be able to do joined up writing ?
    Are they tested on even basic levels of education ?

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Nov 30, 2013 4:33:47 PM

  8. @Mike - Maybe someone from the DoD sent them a nice little memo suggesting that they're considering only awarding future defense contracts to companies located in states that aren't causing them problems. Why provide business/employment opportunities and support a tax base in any state that openly and defiantly discriminates?

    Posted by: Lexis | Nov 30, 2013 4:45:30 PM

  9. @Lexis and Mike: I doubt they even had to go so far. A letter threatening removal of the State's Guard Commander and some high-ranking members, replacing them with a new commander and other staff officers of the Pentagon's choosing would likely have been enough.

    Posted by: RWG | Nov 30, 2013 4:58:50 PM

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