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Texas National Guard denies same-sex partner benefits

As of September 3, 2013, same-sex spouses of U.S. armed forces members around the world became eligible for spouse and family benefits, except in Texas.  The Adjutant General’s Office of the Texas Military Forces (Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, Texas State Guard, and the Domestic Operations Command) issued a statement that the new Department of Defense guidelines conflict with the Texas Constitution and therefore would not be supported by TMF.  LGBT military families were encouraged to enroll for benefits at federal installations.

“The TXMF is a state agency under the authority and direction of the Texas state government.  Therefore, the TXMF must consider that the Texas Constitution and Texas Family Code 6.204 conflicts with the DoD policy extending benefits to same-sex spouses.  Due to this potential conflict, we are unable to enroll same-sex families into DEERs at our state supported facilities until we receive legal clarification.”

The American Military Partners Association, a national support network for LGBT military families, condemned the Texas decision.  “It’s truly outrageous that the state of Texas has decided to play politics with our military families.  Governor Rick Perry should be ashamed.  Our military families are already dealing with enough problems and the last thing they need is more discrimination from the state of Texas.”

Federal military family benefits are being made retroactive to June 26, 2013, the day the United States Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.  Any couples legally married will be entitled to medical, housing, moving, and other approved expenses as well as reimbursement for expenses incurred after June 26.  Civil unions and domestic partnerships do not qualify as marriage for purposes of federal benefits.

 

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