Hagel directs National Guard to press forward with same-sex benefits
November 1st, 2013
01:33 AM ET

Hagel directs National Guard to press forward with same-sex benefits

The states whose National Guard units continue to deny military benefits to same-sex spouses were taken to task by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Thursday night, in a speech to the Anti-Defamation League.

Denying such benefits "causes division among the ranks, and it furthers prejudice, which DoD has fought to extinguish," Hagel said as he relayed a conversation he had earlier that day with Gen. Frank Grass, who is Chief of the National Guard Bureau.

Hagel said Grass "will meet with the adjutants general from the states where these ID cards are being 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."

While Hagel refrained from individually citing specifics states by name, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Florida, West Virginia, Mississippi, Georgia, Indiana and Florida have been previously cited by the Pentagon as being noncompliant with the directive, which was issued in August.

Oklahoma's Gov. Mary Fallin directed her National Guard units to deny benefits to same-sex couples in what turned into a public back and forth in which her office insisted she was following the will of Oklahoma voters.

"All spouses of service members are entitled to DoD ID cards, and the benefits that come with them," Hagel said, pointing out that such actions on the parts of the states violate their "obligations under federal law" and create undo hardships on families forced to travel outside of their state to obtain military IDs.

"Whether they are responding to natural disasters here at home, in their states, or fighting in Afghanistan, our National Guardsmen all wear the uniform of the United States of America. They. . . and their families are entitled to all the benefits and respect accorded to all of our military men and women."

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  24. Random

    Well done sir.

    November 1, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  25. Jim

    Id like to see the National Guard disbanded and individule states return to the old guard where it was before the Feds screwed it up. They are rarely called upon to preform services within the states they serve, just a pool of fresh meat for IED'S in some God forsaken sand box. Marrage is between one man and one woman and if this boot licker wants to force this trash on the rest of America he can kiss my @$$!

    November 1, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  26. Michael D.

    To refuse to follow federal law, to refuse to follow military order....isn't that plain and simple, grounds for dishonorable discharge.

    Maybe discharging the people responsible for refusing to adhere to the guidelines will send the best and loudest message that equality for ALL is here to stay.

    November 1, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  27. jboh

    If the TEA/GOP talibangelicals refuse to obey a lawful order from their commander, withdraw ALL federal funding for their guard units. If these clowns want to be independent states, let them foot their own bills. I'm tired of my tax dollars going to temper tantrum throwing dominionists.

    November 1, 2013 at 9:35 am | Reply
    • Random

      Some advice, just omit the cliche all caps political stabs from your posts. You have some valid points I see but it gets lost with the partisan jabs. Simply by allowing yourself to be herded to a side you are part of the grid lock problem.

      November 1, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Reply
      • jboh

        When the other side is dead wrong, there is only one side that makes sense.

        November 2, 2013 at 10:46 am |
  28. Joel Edge

    With this and other various articles, I am so happy to be out of the military. It's gotten to the point where the competent are discarded and the incompetent are promoted.

    November 1, 2013 at 8:16 am | Reply
    • jboh

      Unfortunately, the military isn't the only place this happens. Today's managers are little more than boot-licking nose browners. By making all decisions on an across the board basis, there is no reason for anyone to do more than they have to. Why bust your tail giving 110% when only the executive class benefits? Just borrowing a page from the TEA/GOP playbook.

      November 1, 2013 at 9:45 am | Reply
  29. Jsmith

    Disgusting. Military leaders should stand for morality, not perversion.

    November 1, 2013 at 5:51 am | Reply
    • jboh

      We're talking about the U S military, not some talibangelical crusader army. We don't want your theocratic crap.

      November 1, 2013 at 9:38 am | Reply
    • just_a_moderate

      Kind of hard to argue that equality isn't a moral issue. I'm glad that we have Americans in charge and not just neocons.

      November 1, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Reply
      • Jim

        When you can stick your penis in another man’s ass and produce a baby then you can call it equal. Its actually butt-f-cking but that isn’t politically correct and illegal under sodomy laws.

        November 1, 2013 at 2:49 pm |

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