The San Antonio Express-News reports that the Texas national guard is refusing to give out federal benefits to legally married military spouses. As one may recall, the Pentagon recently announced they would offer same-sex benefits to all legally married pertinent individuals. This new policy pertains to those individuals residing outside a jurisdiction recognizing same-sex marriage, so as long as they have been legally married in another State. Accordingly, a Texas same-sex couple who traveled to New Mexico for their nuptials would be covered.
Today, nearly three weeks after that announcement, was the first day the new policy was in effect. However, the Express-News article notes that Governor Perry has ordered the Texas national guard to defy the Federal directive, and refuse to issue these new benefits.
These couples may still travel to Federal bases throughout the State, which are not managed by any person affiliated with the State of Texas, in order to receive their entitled benefits. However, this places an undue burden on these couples that their heterosexual peers do not face.
Governor Perry cited the Texas Constitution, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman, to come to this conclusion. The State of Mississippi came to a similar conclusion, for similar reason. However, it is absolutely imperative to note that the Express-News references at least 11 other States with similar Constitutional provisions that are carrying out this Federal order.
In my humble opinion, this action is completely unacceptable. The State of Texas has no authority to subvert the authority of the Federal Government, especially with respect to the Military. President Obama should make a direct, unequivocal order towards Governor Perry, telling him to offer the benefits required under Federal law.
If he refuses, Obama could (and should) federalize the Texas national guard. It has been done before to deal with recalcitrant, bigoted southern States.