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Hagel Orders Equality for National Guard Soldiers

After the Supreme Court overturned Section 3 of DOMA in June, the Pentagon said that all soldiers with legal same-sex spouses of military personnel were eligible for the same benefits given to opposite-sex spouses. But many anti-gay governors have refused such benefits to National Guard members in their state. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the Pentagon to fix that.

HAGEL: 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.

But remember, these conservative bigots “support the troops.” Unless the troops are gay, then they can go to hell.

Comments

  1. says

    The Supreme Court has held that National Guard is part of the US Armed Forces, subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and under the authority of the Pentagon and the Commander In Chief. While the governor has authority to mobilize their state’s National Guard, they do NOT have authority to set matters of military policy or practice.

    The National Guard commanders who are obeying their governors and not their superior officers are in dereliction of duty and are willfully disobeying a direct and legal order. That is a very, very serious offence that could lead to a court martial and many years in a military prison. If these commanders continue in their failure to comply, they must be arrested and charged. Failure to do this will not be good for the country: we must not allow Tea Party dominated states to think that they have a fully armed personal army under their sole command.

  2. otrame says

    Now, Ed, you are expecting too much. Conservative support our troops with their mouths. When it comes to actually DOING anything, the troops can forget it.

  3. matty1 says

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    … prejudice, which DoD has fought to extinguish, as has the ADL.

    Why the gratuitous shout-out to the Anti-Defamation League?

  5. matty1 says

    @7 It isn’t clear from this extract but he mentioned the ADL because the quoted statement was made in a speech to them rather than being a general press release or the actual order given.

  6. says

    I can’t wait to see some brave, patriotic Governor standing strong at the gates of a National Guard armory shouting “Segregation now. Segregation forever!”
    It really brings a tear to one’s eye, don’t it?

  7. Wylann says

    The governor(s) can try to ignore the order, but the various base commanders are obliged to follow them. It will be…interesting…to see how the more homophobic governors actually react. I suspect all bluff and bravado, and using this as fundraising, but little else.

    I would love to see a state rep or governor arrested for trying to stop this from happening in their state. I expected them to use the states’ rights BS. Seems awfully convenient when they want it, but not when they want their views imposed nationally.

  8. sharonb says

    Republicans in general support the troops to exactly same extent they support children and families.

  9. says

    Dear SKKKrotalMurKKKanPatriotiKKK Front morons:

    Chuck Hagel has sent you a Soopersized Cup-O-STFU. It’s only a guess on my part, but he might be remembering how much shit you fuckheads pulled to try and derail his appointment to be head of DoD. Revenge, it’s not just a “dish best served cold” for breakfast anymore.

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