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La. National Guard aligns with Texas, won’t process same-sex spousal benefits

Alabama says it will follow Pentagon policy and honor requests for benefits for same-sex couples
Wednesday, September 4, 2013

BATON ROUGE, La. — The Louisiana National Guard won’t process requests from same-sex couples seeking benefits, joining Texas in the refusal because of the states’ bans on gay marriage.

National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Kazmierzak said Maj. Gen. Glenn Curtis, the state’s adjutant general, issued the directive Wednesday.

Kazmierzak cited the state’s constitution.

“The state of Louisiana’s constitution does not recognize same sex marriage, nor does it allow a state official to take part in an act that recognizes same sex marriage,” he said.

Approved by lawmakers and voters in 2004, the state constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman and declares a legal status of marriage for any other couples “shall not be valid or recognized.”

Kazmierzak said the Louisiana National Guard isn’t denying same-sex benefits. He said guard personnel can seek to file benefit requests with eight federal military installations ar ound the state for processing.

He said he didn’t know if any guard employees had sought to file for the benefits in Louisiana so far.

Meanwhile, the Alabama National Guard said Wednesday it will follow the Pentagon policy and honor requests for military benefits for same-sex couples, even though they are not legally recognized under state law.

A Guard spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Shannon Hancock, said military attorneys and other leaders plan to abide by Defense Department policy, even though Texas is also refusing and Mississippi is setting conditions.

Tuesday was the first day to seek benefits under the rule.

Developing story, check back for updates.

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88 more reader comments:

  1. shameful—bigots

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 8:12pm
  2. Disgraceful!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 8:15pm
  3. Always seems to be the south.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 8:15pm
  4. Texas and LA, you must be very proud of yourself’s huh? Bigots!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 8:16pm
  5. they need to be court marshaled and thrown out

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 8:16pm
  6. A noun would really help your comment.

    Replied on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 8:15am
  7. Louisiana the birthplace where CNN news anchorman Don Lemon couldn't come out

    Replied on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 8:44am
  8. Denise Tharp is a bitch.

    Replied on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 1:39pm
  9. I hit ‘like’ not because I like this shit. I just want to help get this post around. Ramona L. Salden is right.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 8:16pm
  10. They will be forced to!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 8:17pm
  11. Good, we can get through these discrimination cases sooner rather than later. :)

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 8:17pm
  12. Maybe the DOD should quit funding them…. and discharge the commanders making these decisions

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 8:19pm
  13. Conservative sheeple…they need to crawl back under their rocks.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 8:21pm
  14. If they are unwilling to follow orders, they should have all federal funding withdrawn from their states. Regardless of whether a state agrees with the directive or not, you can’t have a strong national defense if rogue states are unwilling to follow orders.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 8:21pm
  15. National law trumps state law, this makes it that much harder for states like Texas, Mississippi and my own home state, Indiana to ignore same sex couples.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 8:22pm
  16. Embarassment and shame is all you are showing in your actions to the rest of the country….

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 8:22pm
  17. I live in Texas, and am SO ASHAMED and sick of this crap! I hope the feds straighten out these jerks, fast!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 8:29pm
  18. Arrest the idiots.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 8:30pm
  19. Just as I said with Texas, good luck with that…

    The states may be in charge of the National Guard units in that state, but they are ALSO subject to Federal Law, which is why the members are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

    This will go just to the nearest District court and then stop…

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 8:30pm
  20. the DoD Says do it..they refuse? Dishonorable discharge for disobeying the DoD

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 8:33pm
  21. Benefits still extend to cows, and sisters :)

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 8:34pm
  22. i am from and live in louisiana and to be openly gay it sucks! close minded idiots hide behind the bible but they dont realize how that really makes them look! same love people!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 8:36pm
  23. stop giving them our tax dollars. Why should gay people by forced to pay taxes when they are only second class in those states? Their interests and needs are not address in legislature, in fact it is hostile against them as a singled out minority group. There is no reason any gay American citizen, anywhere that does treat them as equal, hold any moral obligation to follow ANY laws written by those bodies. No taxation without representation is pretty clear example.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 8:48pm
  24. Damn rednecks hypocrites.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 9:02pm
  25. They have no legal standing to refuse. Sue them.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 9:13pm
  26. Federal trumps State…..rednecks never learn!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 9:36pm
  27. This is BULLSHIT! Will someone sue them PLEASE?!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 9:37pm
  28. Deactivate their units!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 9:43pm
  29. Not surprising…growing up in SW LA I can tell you some of these guys who cry out the loudest bend the deepest….

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 10:01pm
  30. Sorry but I agree with the generals decision. When federal law opposes state law then state law should be supported. He is not denying the benefits he is following state law and not letting state owned and state funded guard units issue the benefits. The LA natl guard is operated by the state not the fed.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 10:14pm
  31. You are wrong, dude. This was decided back in 1824. The Supremacy clause says that if there is a conflict between state law and federal law, the federal has supremacy.

    Replied on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 1:10am
  32. i don't trust the federal government. you can put your faith in them if you want to but they do not have the right to control what any sovereign state does on their land.

    Replied on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 1:14am
  33. state owned facilities have the right to refuse.They arent refusing the benifits only to issue them. their are federally owned guard buildings they can go to if they wish

    Replied on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 1:15am
  34. The national guard is just that NATIONAL, not STATE, that's why they have SDFs . SO no, the guard's duty is to FOLLOW the federal government

    Replied on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 2:45am
  35. Fed always trumps state law did you not go to high school?

    Replied on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 5:52am
  36. Cory, you may be gay, but you still are a ignorant bigot... You have just demonstrated everything wrong with the south...

    Replied on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 6:38am
  37. And I am openly gay and was born and live my whole life in south Louisiana so stuck your whining bs up ya asses.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 10:15pm
  38. has anyone in your family ever graduated fifth grade? Or, is everyone as openly bigoted as you?

    Replied on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 6:40am
  39. Shame!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 10:17pm
  40. Perhaps they should be federalized for a time. It’d make house cleaning easier. :-)

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 10:19pm
  41. No DOD funds then!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 10:26pm
  42. Sometimes I want to burn this whole state to the ground. Then I remember that all my stuff is here.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 10:35pm
  43. Fire them! Incompetence!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 10:43pm
  44. I get more ashamed of my state by the day it seems.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 11:11pm
  45. Hey, did these people forget they were part of the United States….again??

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 11:28pm
  46. Well duh! It’s George W. Bush Jr’s state!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 11:36pm
  47. And LA is just full of themselves. They are too busy being fake christians anyways.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 11:38pm
  48. goddamn i wonder if this is going to lead to some kind of new civil war…

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 12:14am
  49. Federal over state. Get with it already. Treat people fair.

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 12:27am
  50. cowards

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 12:57am
  51. Pull Federal funding and court martial those haters!

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 1:08am
  52. They. Should. Be. Ashamed

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 1:14am
  53. They don’t the DOD’s policies, but will take its money. Cut their funding to both, see how far their principles carry them!!!

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 1:28am
  54. No wonder LA smells like shit, it’s the politicians and the National Guard.

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 1:39am
  55. These two states are stuck in the 12th century….

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 1:45am
  56. Cory Ledet the National Guard relies on Federal Funding. Constitutionally Fed law supersedes State.

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 1:48am
  57. Cory, are you an idiot? Do you know about the civil war? It does have that power.

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 2:17am
  58. :::yawn:::Big ol’ shock there.

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 3:27am
  59. rednecks and shitkickers are dumb and mean

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 3:45am
  60. I hate to break it to them, but no matter how hard they wish it, the whole “states rights” issue is not coming back. It is still in the 1800′s where it belongs. Federal law is above state law, and therefore overrides it. To not process the requests is illegal.

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 3:45am
  61. ….boy I can’t wait for the South to get the hell over itself.

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 4:07am
  62. You know that whole defending freedom? You’re doing it wrong! :(

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 4:14am
  63. Only in “God’s country” would there be so much ignorance.

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 5:00am
  64. No not God’s country just the South.

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 5:34am
  65. fuck those ignorant bastards

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 5:56am
  66. when the COmmander in CHief says to pay them.. and they refuse… Isn’t that a ticket to Ft. Levenworth

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 6:36am
  67. Idiots.

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 6:53am
  68. So, they are bucking the Supreme Court? It’s time to stop funding those states, to make a point that they are more dependent on the nation than they seem to want to be.

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 7:51am
  69. They will. Stop ALL federal funding of Texas and Louisiana and I mean ALL funding. They will soon fall in line but it takes a president like Eisenhower to make that happen. Our current charlatan-in chief is more consumed with Syria and the crumbling empire to worry about things at home.

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 9:15am
  70. Yaaaaaaay, the state I live in is still ass backwards~ :D

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 9:40am
  71. Fuck them asses!! I hate homophones who deny same sex benefits!

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 10:19am
  72. yet.

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 11:18am
  73. CUT OFF the FEDERAL DOLLARS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 11:37am
  74. @Michael Legnon: Thank You Sir, your comment made me spit coffee from laughing! I love it “…cry the loudest bend the deepest” because it’s accurate, not just in LA!

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 11:38am
  75. Texas and Louisiana! Go figure!

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 12:14pm
  76. they are defying a direct order from the commander in chief, they should all be court mashalled, as far as I know federal law trumos state law.

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 12:44pm
  77. Who knew? A coming U.S. civil war over us queers.

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 1:17pm
  78. except now, they are BREAKING THE LAW!

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 2:06pm
  79. Born and raised in Louisiana, live in Texas…disgusted by both states.

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 3:05pm
  80. National Guard is to protect this country and her citizens. Nothing in there about “except gays”!

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 3:31pm
  81. Another step backwards for Louisiana where I live…

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 4:45pm
  82. LOUISIANE vous etes francophone?

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 4:51pm
  83. Typial inbred bigots

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 5:55pm
  84. Idiots

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 6:46pm
  85. First MI and now LA. Damn, I was hopping nobody would follow Texas and let those assholes stand alone.

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 7:52pm
  86. Christian Dominionism in the Military, …?

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 8:52pm
  87. www.patheos.com/Pagan/Christian-Dominionism-Gus-diZerega-06-15-2012.html

    Replied on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 8:53pm
  88. www.dailykos.com/story/2012/06/02/1096273/-Why-We-Fight-Christian-Dominionists-Are-Dead-Serious-About-Overthrowing-Democracy

    Replied on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 8:56pm