Nel’s New Day, September 18, 2013
Since the Supreme Court overturned a part of DOMA, the federal government decided to give all federal benefits to married same-sex couples who live in one of the 13 states and the several other jurisdictions, including Washington, D.C. and six Indian reservations, that have legalized marriage equality. Same-sex couples who live in other areas but who married in one of these states or other areas can get some of the federal benefits, but not all of them. Social Security denies spousal benefits for legally married gay couples who live in one of the 36 states that don’t recognize gay marriage. Legally married same-sex spouses of activity military service members can get the same benefits as opposite-sex spouses, but veterans could not until the Veterans Administration changed its mind, following a federal court ruling.
Confused yet? Let’s talk about the federally-funded National Guard. Gov. Mary Fallin announced that Oklahoma has become the fourth state to block processing the same benefits, such as health care and housing, for legally married same-sex spouses of National Guard members that married opposite-sex spouses receive. In so doing, Oklahoma followed Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
In Oklahoma, however, the National Guard was already processing requests from same-sex couples, according to Oklahoma National Guard spokesman Col. Max Moss. Earlier this summer, they indicated that they were following federal law on benefits applications after the Pentagon issued the directive mandating the same benefits for all legally married couples….
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