Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, a
Republican, has announced that state-owned National Guard bases will
no longer process military spouse benefit applications.
The announcement came after Secretary
of Defense Chuck Hagel ordered 9 states to comply with federal policy
on gay couples.
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.
“Oklahoma law is clear,” Fallin
said in a written statement. “The state of Oklahoma does not
recognize same-sex marriages, nor does it confer marriage benefits to
same-sex couples. The decision reached today allows the National
Guard to obey Oklahoma law without violating federal rules or
policies. It protects the integrity of our state constitution and
sends a message to the federal government that they cannot simply
ignore our laws or the will of the people.”
Three states – Indiana, Florida and
West Virginia – have said that they will comply. Other states
involved include Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and