ACLU Petition Seeking DOD Action In National Guard Benefit Refusals

Sep 17, 2013

In response to the decision of several state National Guard posts to not process federal benefits for same-sex military couples, the ACLU has started a petition that already has thousands of signatures online.  

Once they have enough signatures, they plan to submit the petition to the Department of Defense in hopes that the DOD will take action against the Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas National Guards for their inaction on same-sex benefits.

The head of the Texas Military Forces said they are bound by the Texas Constitution, which forbids them from signing up same-sex military families for federal benefits. But ACLU of Texas Executive Director Terry Burke said the U.S. Constitution should trump that.

"And more importantly it is a federal regulation governing the military and that includes the national guard," Burke said. "This is the most specious argument I’ve ever heard."

Burke said Republican support for Texas military families hasn't stopped because of someone’s sexual preference.

"You have seen those pictures of [Gov.] Rick Perry with his arms around somebody in uniform, thanking them for their service," Burke said. "Now does he stop first and ask them, 'Are you gay by any chance? Do you have a gay family? Because I don’t want to put my arm around you and thank you if you do.'"