Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Says All Rogue States Have Complied with Orders Regarding Gay Spousal Benefits

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel released the following statement this morning:

HagelOn Oct. 31, I called on the chief of the National Guard Bureau to work with several states to fully implement Department of Defense policy by providing DoD identification cards to all eligible military spouses, regardless of sexual orientation. Following consultations between the National Guard Bureau and the adjutants general of the states, all eligible service members, dependents and retirees – including same-sex spouses – are now able to obtain ID cards in every state. All military spouses and families sacrifice on behalf of our country. They deserve our respect and the benefits they are entitled to under the law. All of DoD is committed to pursuing equal opportunities for all who serve this nation, and I will continue to work to ensure our men and women in uniform as well as their families have full and equal access to the benefits they deserve.

On Monday we reported that Mississippi was the final state left which had not complied with the orders.

The Washington Blade adds:

A defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Mississippi, the last remaining hold-out state, came on board sometime this week, although the official didn’t have an exact date for when that happened. The official said Mississippi is adopting a policy similar to Texas, Louisiana and Georgia, which are placing state workers on federal status to process same-sex benefit applications.


  1. Anthony says

    You can’t have gay couples be legally married under federal law and single under state law. Eventually SCOTUS will have to overrule the remaining state bans on gay marriage.

  2. Michael Bedwell says

    Bravo, Mr. Secretary. Now, with respect, it is time to heal Thyself. FIRST: Stop treating LGB service members as Second Class Soldiers by arbitrarily denying them the protections against harassment and job discrimination of the DOD Human Goals Charter and the Military Equal Opportunity Program. We know you did not initiate this, your predecessor Mr. Gates did. But you, like your immediate predecessor, Mr. Panetta, are willfully and inexcusably perpetuating it. “The eradication of [DADT] will require more than JUST eliminating one statute. It will require THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ANTI-HARASSMENT POLICIES AND PROTOCOLS FOR DEALING WITH ABUSIVE OR DISCRIMINATORY BEHAVIOR as we transition our armed forces away from a policy of discrimination.” – Barack Obama, November 29, 2007, emphasis mine.

    SECOND: Stop allowing those under you to do far worse than these state asshats did by denying equal benefits to gay married military couples overseas while hiding behind State of Forces Agreements when there is no evidence that such countries object. “It is now the Department’s policy to TREAT ALL MARRIED PERSONNEL EQUALLY.” – Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense, August 13, 2013, emphasis mine.

    THIRD: do what your predecessors SHOULD have done to reduce the kind of abuses in the field we keep hearing about, e.g., the use of homophobic language such as “faggot” by drill instructors and the banning of or ridiculous limitations on local Gay Pride celebrations, by forcefully following the open service implementation recommendations of the 1993 RAND Study and its 2010 update commissioned by the DOD and costing taxpayers millions of dollars: “The message of policy change must be clear and must be CONSISTENTLY COMMUNICATED FROM THE TOP. It must be clear to the troops that BEHAVIORAL DISSENT FROM THE POLICY WILL NOT BE PERMITTED. The enforcement system needs to be explicit and consistently applied. Interviews with service members reinforce that the attitudes of military leaders at all levels set the tone for whether antigay harassment is accepted. Military experience with handling of sexual harassment suggests that A CODE OF BEHAVIOR ALONE CANNOT BRING ABOUT COMPLIANCE; leaders, particularly at the unit level, need the resources and training to respond quickly and fairly to PUNISH NONCOMPLIANCE with the new policy. A MONITORING PROCESS SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED to identify any problems early in the implementation process and address them immediately.” Emphasis mine.

    YES, things ARE much better than they were before repeal implementation on September 20, 2011. But that your office is arbitrarily still enforcing TWO classes of service—straight and LGB, a front of the military bus and a back of the military bus—more than two years after implementation is not only unjust it is also reprehensible.

  3. Gay Guy says

    Allowing opposite sex couples to apply at state facilities while requiring same sex couples to apply only at federal facilities is NOT equal treatment! While it may be an improvement over the prior situation, it is still not compliant!

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