Same-Sex Benefits
1:40 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Texas National Guard Getting Legal Help From Abbott

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has formally announced he will provide the Texas National Guard a legal opinion regarding the group’s decision to not process federal benefits for same-sex families.

This month sections of the Defense of Marriage Act were repealed for same-sex couples in the military and working for the federal government. The Texas National Guard cited the state Constitution as their reason for not processing these families and asked Abbott for his help on the issue.

"We do this in a quasi-judicial fashion, where we take in briefing and input from all interested parties before we issue an opinion," Abbott said. "So I want to hear from all the Texans that will weigh in on this before we issue that opinion."

Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Christensen, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Defense, said this week the DOD told all federally-run military bases the same thing.

"All federal military installations in Texas will issue IDs to all those who provided valid marriage certificates in the jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriages," said Christensen. "Again, that’s all federal-military installations in the State of Texas."

That means the DOD is not planning on taking issue with Texas National Guard facilities that cite the state Constitution as their reason for not registering same-sex military families for federal benefits.

So far Texas and the State of Mississippi are the only states to defy the federal directive for same-sex partners.