Same-Sex Military Spouses Refused Benefits in Texas

The Next Family
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American Military Partner Association Photo

On Friday, March 13, 2015, three same-sex military couples were denied assistance by the federal military identification card enrollment center at Camp Mabry, the headquarters of the Texas Military Forces, near Austin, Texas. All three couples were told by the center’s employee that they would not be provided service because their marriages were not recognized by the state of Texas, regardless of the fact they were seeking federal military benefits.

The American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation’s largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender military families, strongly condemned the behavior in a letter to the Adjutant General of the Texas Military Forces, Major General Berry, outlining the situation that occurred and calling for an immediate investigation and clarification.

“We are disappointed and outraged over the humiliating and discriminatory treatment these military families endured while simply trying to enroll in the federal benefits to which they are entitled. This issue was raised and, we thought, resolved over a year ago when the Secretary of Defense had to direct the Texas forces to comply with military policy,” said AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack.  “It’s also further evidence of why sexual orientation should be protected under the Department of Defense non-discrimination policy and equal opportunity program. No service member or military spouse should be treated this way.”

These actions of discrimination were in direct contradiction to assurances made by the Texas Military Forces in November 2013 that no military benefits would be denied and that all installations, including the five state-controlled National Guard properties, would comply with the DoD memorandum, “Extending Benefits to the Same-Sex Spouses of Military Members,” dated August 13, 2013.

A detailed explanation of the denial of services that occurred on March 13, 2015, is explained in the letter to Major General Berry and can be read here.

For more information about the American Military Partner Association and LGBT military families, visit MilitaryPartners.org.

 

Article brought to you by The Seattle Lesbian.

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