Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, a
Republican, has accused President Barack Obama and Secretary of
Defense Chuck Hagel of attempting to force Oklahoma and 8 other
states to recognize gay marriage.
On Thursday, Hagel ordered National
Guard units in 9 states to comply with federal policy on gay couples.
“This is wrong,” Hagel said in
addressing an Anti-Defamation League audience in New York. “It
causes division among our ranks, and it furthers prejudice, which DoD
has fought to extinguish, as has the ADL.”
“Not only does this violate the
states' obligation under federal law, their actions have created
hardship and inequity by forcing couples to travel long distances to
federal military bases to obtain the ID cards they're entitled to.”
The Pentagon announced in August 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.
As of September 3, servicemembers in a
marriage with a member of the same sex could apply for spousal
But National Guard bases in several
states refused to process the requests and instead encouraged gay
troops to enroll at bases operated by the Department of Defense.
On Friday, Indiana said that it would
But a spokesman for Fallin said
Oklahoma was weighing its options.
“Gov. Fallin is calling on President
Obama and Secretary Hagel to stop using the National Guard as a pawn
in a larger social agenda,” Alex
Weintz told the Tulsa
World. “The president has made it clear he supports gay
marriage. He has the legal authority to order federal agencies to
recognize gay marriages. He does not have the legal authority to
force state agencies to do so, or to unilaterally rewrite state laws
or state constitutions.”
The other states involved are Florida,
Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and West