Wednesday, November 20, 2013

QUEER QUOTE: Oklahoma Gov Stops All Military Spouse Benefit Applications

Wow. Just wow. In order to not have the Oklahoma National Guard process applications for legally married same-sex couples who are legally entitled to military spousal benefits, Republican Governor Mary Fallin has ordered the National Guard to stop processing all spousal benefit applications. This is a bit like saying "Hmmm, we can't have separate but equal schools? Well, then, let's cancel public education!"

Gov. Fallin is quoted by the Tulsa World as saying:
Oklahoma law is clear. 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.
This is simply astonishing. Previously Fallin was one of eight governors identified by the Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel as being in violation of military policy. Curious how the other 30-something states that have constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage didn't interpret their laws in such a virulently homophobic way. I wonder why not? Tulsa World goes on to explain the context of Fallin's statement, which is today's Queer Quote.
Although Oklahoma owns most of the state's National Guard armories and training centers, the facilities were built almost entirely with federal funds. 
The federal government provides about 90 percent of the budget for the Oklahoma Military Department, which includes the National Guard. 
Toby Jenkins, executive director of Oklahomans for Equality, blasted Fallin, saying, "The governor is sending the message that Oklahoma desires to be an island of prejudice and continues to uphold laws crafted out of fear and drafted by bigots and hypocrites. 
"Once again she has insulted our citizen soldiers who daily stand in harm's way for the people of Oklahoma," Jenkins said. 
The current controversy began in early September, when the Defense Department said it would recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in states where such unions are recognized. This followed a U.S. Supreme Court decision that all legal marriages, regardless of the spouses' genders, must be honored by the federal government.
Some people really don't understand the concept of "equality for all"! 

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