Defense Secretary Hagel calls out 9 states for refusing to issue military IDs to same-sex spouses – U.S. News

Nine states that continue refuse to issue military IDs to same-sex spouses of service members at National Guard facilities are “wrong” and causing “division among the ranks” that furthers prejudice, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday.

He called out the states for the first time in a speech before the Anti-Defamation League in New York City.Hagel said he has directed the chief of the National Guard Bureau, Gen. Frank Grass, to “take immediate action to remedy this situation,” and to “meet with the Adjutants General from the states where these ID cards are being denied.

“Texas this summer announced a “potential conflict” between state law, which does not allow same-sex marriage and the U.S. Department of Defense policy. The Defense Department is now abiding by a Supreme Court ruling that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act that banned federal recognition of gay marriages.

Texas, meanwhile, said the state would not issue ID cards to same-sex spouses at National Guard facilities, saying  those identity cards can only be obtained at federal facilities in the state.

Since Texas’ decision, eight other states have made similar decisions: Indiana, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia.

via Defense Secretary Hagel calls out 9 states for refusing to issue military IDs to same-sex spouses – U.S. News.

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Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi National Guard Refuse Same-Sex Benefits

In June, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional, allowing the possibility for married couples of the same-sex to finally be allowed the same federal benefits as other married couples. Primarily, the focus has been on the military and that ID cards can now be given to same-sex spouses, allowing them access to transferable benefits like the GI Bill. Despite individual opinions about the issue, the military follows orders and this ruling cleared the way for officials to follow the law.

However, when one is a member of the National Guard — part of the Army, but operated by the State — which laws is one to follow?

In Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, National Guard spokespeople announced that they would not be issuing ID cards or processing applications for benefits from their state-owned offices. These states only recognize heterosexual marriage as defined by law, placing the National Guard in a situation where federal and state law clash.

via Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi National Guard Refuse Same-Sex Benefits.

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Support for marriage equality lowest among blacks, Republicans in Texas | Dallas Voice

A recent poll by Public Policy Polling found that 63 percent of Texas voters believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry or form civil unions in the Lone Star State.

The poll found that 34 percent support marriage equality, which is lower than a recent University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. Support is still lagging among black and Republican voters, according to the PPP poll.

Among those who identified as very liberal, 74 percent support marriage equality and 18 percent are in favor of civil unions. As for very conservative voters, 4 percent support same-sex marriage and 45 favor civil unions. Eighteen percent of very liberal voters opposed any form of relationship recognition, compared to 48 percent of very conservative voters.

African-American Texans have the strongest opposition to same-sex relationship recognition, with 44 percent opposing any recognition, compared to 31 percent of white voters and 21 percent of Hispanic voters. Twenty-one percent of African-Americans support civil unions with 18 percent supporting same-sex marriage. White voters supported marriage by 33 percent and 31 percent favoring civil unions. Hispanics favored civil unions by 44 percent with 29 percent supporting marriage.

The poll also found that 75 percent of those surveyed believe employers shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate based on sexual orientation and 54 percent support the Voting Rights Act.

The poll surveyed 500 registered voters between June 28 and July 1. The margin of error was plus/minus 4.4 percentvia Support for marriage equality lowest among blacks, Republicans in Texas | Dallas Voice.

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