The Houston Chronicle reports that the Texas National Guard, after long pushback, has acquiesced to demands of the Defense Department and will offer benefits to same-sex couples. Our sagacious readers will remember that, at the beginning of September, Texas was one of only a handful of States to deny same-sex benefits within their State National Guards, despite a direct order from the Pentagon to that effect.
Most of the former Confederacy (along with Oklahoma) originally defied the Pentagon, but the holdouts have been dropping like flies in the last few days. Florida recently relented, as did Kentucky, to name a few. Oklahoma, in a desperate attempt to avoid benefiting same-sex couples, dropped the benefits to all couples irrespective of sexual orientation.
As the Chronicle notes, these benefits offered to same-sex couples include “services ranging from access to base commissaries to medical care and housing allowances.” By no means are we talking about insignificant issues.
Among the organizations that lambasted the State’s recalcitrance on this issue were the American Military Partners Association, which wrote that the bans ” undoubtedly damaging to morale, good order and discipline.” Additionally, both Governor Rick Perry and Attorney General Greg Abbott were on the wrong side of this issue.
Most importantly, perhaps, is that the fact that socially conservative Texans have recently been regurgitating this idea that the State’s anti-gay marriage amendment (which also prohibits civil unions, etc) preempts any sort of benefits to LGBT people within our State’s borders. The argument was applied here with the National Guard benefits, and it has been raised in Houston with similar benefits to same-sex couples.
Texas Leftist has more.