Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 1, 2014

Rebellious States Thwart Defense Secretary Order

In August, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel issued the order that same-sex spouses of military personnel be given full spousal benefits. State compliance, however, has been inconsistent.

The New York Times reports that “as of mid-November, National Guard units in eight states —Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and West Virginia — were refusing to process applications for benefits at Guard facilities.”

Although the situation has improved, “Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia [are] in outright rebellion. But that’s still three defiant states too many.

“If the resistance persists much longer, [Secretary Hagel] will need to respond with concrete actions, including transferring federal funding, equipment and work assignments to National Guard bases in states more respectful of civil rights.”

  • raflw

    This sort of insubordination, if it were “liberal” states in the Bush era, would have evoked endless howls from the pro-military right. If it’s under a Democratic President and commander in chief, eh, it’s just politics. Fascinating how respect for the chain of command is so conditional.

    • Lorehead

      Seriously, they’re going to make National Guard veterans the test case for whether states have to treat same-sex couples equally? Are they just daring Anthony Kennedy to make them?

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