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Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey walk with Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral James Winnefeld, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert to lay a wreath at the Navy Memorial in Washington D.C. Sept. 17, 2013. The defense leaders held the small ceremony to remember the 12 victims of the Navy Yard shooting that took place the day prior. The wreath was placed adjacent to
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, center, has told Texas to stop discriminating.
Texas is still looking for—and finding—ways to discriminate against its LGBT servicemembers, despite Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel explicitly telling Texas and eight other states to stop discriminating and start giving equal benefits to all married couples. The Texas Military Force, which includes the state's National Guard, is now refusing to process housing allowances for servicemembers in same-sex marriages, saying it offer benefits from state facilities because of the state's ban on marriage equality. This forces couples instead to travel to federal installations to apply. Texas being a very large state, that can mean hundreds of miles of extra travel to get the benefits to which they're legally entitled.

Oh, but Texas claims it's all fine and good, because it's not actually stopping people from getting their housing allowances, just making them really difficult to get:

“We want every gay National Guard member entitled to benefits to obtain those benefits,” said Texas Military Forces spokeswoman Laura Lopez. “We are not denying any benefits for people who are entitled to them, to include housing.”

Lopez added that gay couples who have been approved for the “with dependent” housing allowance will “absolutely get that rate.”

"But not until we've made it crystal clear that they're second-class citizens, because we're disgusting bigots" she might as well have added.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 06:39 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  So make their (10+ / 0-)

    Federal funding that pays for the National Guard really hard to get.

    Maybe they have to fly to Washington state for the approval and then to Maine for the key and Florida, in the middle of the swamp, to retrieve the safe.

    Bring a shovel, and something to keep the alligators and snakes off.

    Oh, and sorry, the safe is empty except for a small handbill reading, "Follow The Law."

    (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

    by Lonely Liberal in PA on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 06:46:53 AM PST

    •  I like that idea. (5+ / 0-)

      It's the bureaucrats and politicians that are causing the problem.  Gotta be a way to make them work more for the funds if you can't cut them off. While your example might be a bit extreme (although warranted), just give them a mountain of paperwork to do to get the key, along with other things like personal visits to the Pentagon and endless meetings with very low level bureaucrats (complete with shifting meeting rooms in that labyrinth).  There are probably places in the Pentagon that are less visited and harder to get to than the Florida swamps.

      A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

      by dougymi on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 07:56:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not only that - (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Horace Boothroyd III

      Completely strip the command structure above senior NCO level and declare them ineligible for any pensions or VA benefits, or for any future posting anywhere in the Federal system. If they don't feel obligation to adhere to military regulations, they dishonor the institution by continued service.

      Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

      by OrdinaryIowan on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 04:04:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Federalize them! (5+ / 0-)

    Since the Federal government pays most of the costs of the National Guard, Chuck Hagel can take them over based on the needs of the country (such as deploying them overseas).  For any local Guard that isn't following the fedral rules, usually because of state government interference, take the Guard away from the offending state and implement the rules.  If any local Guard commander refuses to carry out the order, they get fired.  The state can't get their National Guard back until they change their laws to comply with Federal regulations.

    The Scout Law (trustworthy, loyal, helpful...) is a GREAT liberal manifesto.

    by DaytonMike on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 07:20:02 AM PST

  •  Start a round of base closings, and begin with (5+ / 0-)

    the states who are unable to follow orders.

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. &

    by weck on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 07:45:04 AM PST

  •  With anti-miscegenation laws couples might have to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Samer, OrdinaryIowan

    … drive very far to get to a state where they could legally marry.

    But if I understand correctly, at least once they were legally married, their home state would honor it.

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ♥ ♥ ♥ Forget Neo — The One is Minori Urakawa

    by lotlizard on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 08:08:02 AM PST

  •  the vanguard of the Oathkeepers /nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 10:11:14 AM PST

  •  Pull their federal funding (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm not sure about the Army, but the Air National Guard receives 70% of their funding from the feds.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 05:38:10 PM PST

  •  Oklahoma, now Texas... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish, rabel

    These chickens will eventually come home to roost.

  •  I am SHOCKED! Shocked, I say, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to see gambling homophobia in this establishment!

  •  DOn't they still have Courts Martials? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Buckeye54, Horace Boothroyd III

    Or are they only for the enlisted ranks these days?  Officer and a Gentlemen, My Ass.  More like insubordinate wastrel.

    You have the right to remain silent. If you waive that right you will be accused of class warfare.

    by spritegeezer on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 05:50:27 PM PST

    •  I don't think it's the actual active duty members (0+ / 0-)

      who are doing this, but rather the TeaBagging politicians who run the state's military such as it is.  Hard to Courts-Martial a politician, but it's not hard to begin the process of defunding them.

      Any Guard "personnel" who are "commissioned political appointees" (if there are any) should be stripped of their Federal IDs ie their ID cards and commissions.  I would guess that these folks are those at the top of the Guard power structure, like the "Adjutant General" and their staff(s).  Clearly they are doing the bidding of their homophobic masters, but they are also duty bound to their oaths as military's time for them to make a choice and live with it.  They can't serve two sovereigns in this matter any longer; the DoD will cut them off faster than they can breathe if they make the wrong choice.

      Hagel won't mess with the big bases in Texas, but he might very well tell them that no senior Guard folks are welcome on base, i.e. at the Exchanges, Clubs, recreation and medical facilities until they decide to get in line.  That seems to me to be eminently doable.  

      A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism. -Carl Sagan

      by jo fish on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 06:11:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Didn't I read somewhere (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III

    that "separate but equal is inherently unequal"?

  •  The problem as I see it is that the States have (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III

    the upper hand. What is Sec. Hagel going to do them ? Close
    FT. Hood/Bliss or Ft Sill, Not a chance in hell.

    •  I believe that ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Forts Hood, Bliss and Sill are Federal installations.  It takes an act of Congress to close a base, however, the mission of the base is up to the SecDef.

      Nuff said???

      ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

      by NevDem on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 06:41:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mama always said... (0+ / 0-)

    Texas is as Texas does.

    Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

    by Keith930 on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 06:19:25 PM PST

  •  My Crystal ball sayz.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atana, rabel

    There's gonna be a bit of re-tasking the mission, Texas is gonna loose those nice Air Guard units and they're gonna morph into infantry, or some minor support units.   Stuff that isn't nearly as flashy, and costs a LOT less to maintain.

    Hasta la vista Drones on the border too.

    ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

    by NevDem on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 06:21:51 PM PST

  •  Call your Senator (0+ / 0-)

    and ask him to place a hold on all National Guard promotions in the states that are defying the Department of Defense.  Senator McCain's office wasn't helpful but with my wife's move to Hawaii I hope that Senator Schatz's office will be more proactive.  

    It is reason, and not passion, which must guide our deliberations, guide our debate, and guide our decision. Barbara Jordan

    by UTRepub on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 06:39:00 PM PST

  •  $$$ pressure is coming (0+ / 0-)

    I think you are going to see money start leaving the Texas Guard because of this.  Cant say for sure if it is related but I have heard that request for Texas Guard folks to be placed on active duty are being returned with a suggestion to find an "alternate sourcing solution" - military speak for "ask for someone else and we will approve this" but you cant have that person or that unit.

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 06:39:09 PM PST

    •  Money (0+ / 0-)

      is the only thing they understand. Remove all federal funding and let them good ol' boys with their big guns act as "a well  regulated militia".  Of course that is no help with tornados, floods or fires, but hey, that is the way the cookie crumbles.

    •  how about a small-dollar start (0+ / 0-)

      if a same-sex couple is being inconvenienced by the State command -- why doesn't Hagel pay them for the inconvenience?  Cover their gas and wear and tear, and an hourly rate for their time -- maybe lodging and meals as well.  Deduct that money -- plus the administrative costs of DoD keeping track of all this and making the payments -- from the state's guard assistance.  maybe withhold a bigger chunk in advance, on spec -- on the potential for more of such claims for reimbursement materializing in the future.

      When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called "the People's Stick." ~ Mikhail Bakunin

      by Sick Semper on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 07:22:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Very hard to do (0+ / 0-)

        Any travel related expenses fall under the JFTR (Joint Federal Travel Regulation).  The soldiers in question would have to be on travel orders.  Unless they were Federalized there is no way to force the state to put them on travel orders.  Once Federalized, the bill is a federal one.  

        Remember, military dont receive an hourly rate.  Cost for travel is set as is per diem, by JFTR.  

        No the better way to do this is to simply stop putting Texas Guard folks on active orders.  Its a HUGE financial hit.  Next step would be to refuse to Federalize any Texas Guard promotions.  THis would mean their promotions are not recognized outside of the state.  That in turn would prevent them from taking certain national level jobs.  If all that fails then Federalize the entire Texas Guard and call them up.  Cripple Texas businesses because they suddenly have 30,000 employees missing.  

        It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

        by ksuwildkat on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 08:22:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  What would Andrew Jackson have done? (0+ / 0-)

    It might be interesting for the federal government to use its authority to nationalize National Guard units in non- compliant states and to withdraw federal funding for state owned National Guard facilities and use it to construct or expand facilities to which the nationalized forces can be transferred, perhaps after allowing cities/counties to bid on the facilities.

  •  Funny how similar the tactics are to (0+ / 0-)

    the anti-choice movement. Oh it's not ILLEGAL to get an abortion, we'll just make it really difficult, time consuming, and expensive so you know we DON'T APPROVE.

    "We need institutions and cultural norms that make us better than we tend to be. It seems to me that the greatest challenge we now face is to build them." -Sam Harris, neuroscientist

    by MarthaPeregrine on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 09:58:12 AM PST

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