Guard Acts to Issue IDs to Members’ Gay Spouses

14.12.2013 13:46

National Guard will
distribute identification
cards to the gay spouses of
its personnel, overriding
the resistance of several
states that opposed a new
military policy permitting
such cards to all spouses
and partners regardless of
sexual orientation.
After the Supreme Court
overturned the Defense of
Marriage Act this summer,
the Defense Department
announced it would give
the same general benefits
to all eligible spouses,
including ID cards.
But nine states — Florida,
Georgia, Indiana,
Louisiana, Mississippi,
Oklahoma, South Carolina,
Texas and West Virginia —
said the issuing of ID cards
violated their state
constitutions, and would
not provide them at
National Guard facilities,
which are under state
The states’ actions rankled
Defense Secretary Chuck
Hagel, who said in a
speech to the Anti-
Defamation League this
fall: “Everyone who serves
our country in uniform,
everyone in this country,
should receive all the
benefits they deserve, and
they’ve earned, and in
accordance with the law.
Everyone’s rights must be
Mr. Hagel said Friday that
all states were now in
compliance with the law.
West Virginia and Indiana
voluntarily changed their
policies to conform with
the Defense Department’s,
and some of the other
states chose to have the ID
cards issued by staff
workers who were put
under federal authority.
Florida, Oklahoma and
South Carolina moved
their ID card machines
into nearby federal
“All military spouses and
families sacrifice on behalf
of our country,” Mr. Hagel
said in a statement. “They
deserve our respect and
the benefits they are
entitled to under the law.
All of DoD is committed to
pursuing equal
opportunities for all who
serve this nation, and I
will continue to work to
ensure our men and
women in uniform as well
as their families have full
and equal access to the
benefits they deserve.”
Earlier this year, while
awaiting the Supreme
Court’s decision, the
Defense Department moved
to extend benefits to same-
sex military partners and
spouses, including base
access and day care and
health care benefits that
were denied under the
Defense Of Marriage
Act.After the Supreme
Court overturned that act,
those benefits were
expanded to include
medical and dental
coverage and housing
“We applaud the
administration and
Secretary Hagel for seeing
this issue through and
ensuring all state National
Guards are compliant,”
said Stephen Peters,
president of the American
Military Partner
Association, who noted
that many state
governments still
discriminate against gay
military families in other