Louisiana National Guard defies Pentagon, refuses to extend benefits to same-sex couples

The Texas Military Forces has also refused to process benefits for same-sex service members

By Katie McDonough
September 6, 2013 1:22AM (UTC)
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The Louisiana National Guard is refusing to comply with a Pentagon directive extending benefits to same-sex military couples, according to the Times-Picayune.

"The state of Louisiana does not recognize same-sex marriage, nor does it allow a state officials to take part in an act that recognizes same-sex marriage. We would refer those individuals interested in applying for such benefits to seek guidance at a federal military installation," said Lt. Col. Michael Kazmierzak.


Louisiana isn't the only state actively defying military policy to deny gay service members spousal benefits. Texas' National Guard has also refused to process these benefits. "As a state agency, Texas Military Forces must adhere with Texas law, and the Texas Constitution, which clearly defines marriage as between one man and one woman," said Josh Havens, a spokesman for Gov. Rick Perry's office.

Stephen Peters, president of the American Military Partner Association, called such open defiance of military policy "truly outrageous." adding, "Our military families are already dealing with enough problems, and the last thing they need is more discrimination."


Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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Anti-gay Discrimination Gay Rights Lgbt Rights Pentagon U.s. Military