USA: Defense Secretary Orders States to Provide Same Sex Benefits to National Guard Members

Written by scott on November 1st, 2013

Chuck HagelActing to shut down a growing red-state trend of denying benefits to same sex partners of National Guard members, US Defense Secretary Chuch Hagel just ordered those states to shape up.

Think Progress reports:

All spouses of service members are entitled to DoD ID cards, and the benefits that come with them. But several states today are refusing to issue these IDs to same-sex spouses at National Guard facilities. Not only does this violate the states’ obligations under federal law, but their actions have created hardship and inequality by forcing couples to travel long distances to federal military bases to obtain the ID cards they’re entitled to.

This is wrong. It causes division among our ranks, and it furthers prejudice, which DoD has fought to extinguish, as has the ADL. Today, I directed the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, General Frank Grass, to take immediate action to remedy this situation. At my direction, he will meet with the Adjutants General from the states where these ID cards are being declined and denied. The Adjutants General will be expected to comply with both lawful direction and DoD policy, in line with the practices of 45 other states and jurisdictions.

Slowly and inexorably, same sex couples are winning the rights they deserve, even in the reddest of red states.

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