The Texas National Guard refuses to process benefit requests from
gay and lesbian servicemembers.
As of Tuesday, servicemembers in a marriage with a member of the
same sex could apply for spousal benefits such as military I.D.
cards, healthcare coverage, housing allowances and survivor benefits.
The Pentagon announced last month that it would recognize the legal
marriages of gay troops following a Supreme Court ruling that gutted
the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibited federal agencies
from recognizing such unions.
According to the AP, Major General John Nichols, the commanding
general of Texas Military Forces, wrote in a letter to servicemembers
that his agency was unable to process applications from gay couples
because Texas constitutionally bans such unions.
Nichols encouraged servicemembers “affected by this issue” to
enroll at one of 22 Texas bases operated by the Department of Defense
A spokesman for Texas Governor Rick Perry said that as a state
agency, the Texas Military Forces must obey state law.
Alicia Butler was advised to travel 90 miles to apply for the
“It's so petty. It's not like it's going to stop us from
registering or stop us from marrying. It's a pointed way of saying,
'We don't like you,'” said Butler, who is raising a daughter with
her wife Judith Cedville, a nurse and Iraq war veteran stationed at
Camp Mabry as a member of the National Guard.