The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Washington (AFP) – Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel rebuked several U.S. states for failing to grant full spousal benefits to the partners of gay and lesbian members of the armed forces.

Hagel said nine states had failed to recognize the rights of same-sex partners of military personnel based at National Guard installations.

The Pentagon chief said the situation had arisen despite federal recognition of the rights of gay couples.

“All spouses of service members are entitled to Department of Defense ID cards, and the benefits that come with them,” Hagel said in remarks to the Anti-Defamation League in New York.

“But several states are refusing to issue these IDs to same-sex spouses at National Guard facilities.”

He added that “not only does this violate the states’ obligations under federal law, their actions have created hardship and inequality by forcing couples to travel long distances to federal military bases to obtain the ID cards they’re entitled to.”

“This is wrong. It causes division among the ranks, and it furthers prejudice, which the Department of Defense has fought to extinguish.”

Without the identity cards, those affected were unable to benefit from numerous social and health services made available to military spouses, or to access shops on bases.

Hagel said he had ordered the head of the National Guard, General Frank Grass, to remedy the situation.

Texas law does not recognize gay marriage despite landmark federal rulings earlier this year.

Other states that have refused to comply are Indiana, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia, according to a senior defense official.

The Pentagon estimates the number of individuals affected by the recognition of same-sex marriage at 5,600 for active service, and 17,000 including National Guard, reserves and retirees.

AFP Photo/Jim Watson

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Rep. Ted Budd, left, and Cheri Beasley

On Tuesday, North Carolina Republicans selected Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC), a far-right extremist who has pushed false claims about the 2020 election, to be their Senate nominee. He will face Democratic nominee Cheri Beasley, a former chief justice of the state's Supreme Court.

As of Wednesday morning, Budd had received more than 58 percent of the GOP primary vote. Former Gov. Pat McCrory received just below 25 percent of the vote, while former Rep. Mark Walker received about nine percent of the vote.

Keep reading... Show less

Stephen Colbert

It seems we can't go even a week in America without some deranged white nationalist shooter taking the lives of decent people. Of course, this type of violence is propagated on a daily basis by the far-right sh*tweasals at Fox News and, worse yet, in the ranks of the Republican Party.

After returning to the Late Show helm, Stephen Colbert weighed in on the real culprit behind the mass shootings -- the Replacement Theory popularized by Tucker Carlson.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}