Alabama National Guard to Administer Same-Sex Marriage Benefits


By Ashley Thompson

The Alabama National Guard began honoring requests for same-sex marriage benefits.

Some are surprised that Alabama is complying with the federal government on this issue, while other conservative states are not.

The Alabama National Guard will begin to administer federal benefits to same-sex couples, though both Mississippi and Texas are trying to get around it. Some tell us they're surprised Alabama is complying.

"I'm kind of shocked that they're not pushing back," says Montgomery resident Brian Pleasant. "I think Alabama is considered to be in the Bible belt and there's some other morality things that we always push and stand for and it's shocking to me that they're not."

The Texas National Guard is refusing to process benefits for same-sex couples and the Mississippi National Guard says it won't issue benefits applications from state owned facilities. But some say these states shouldn't be trying to make things hard for those in the military.

"I feel like it shouldn't matter," says Shardia Fuller. "It's not worth a big deal."

Bob Taffet is a retired Air Force colonel who says he believes the Alabama National Guard is correct in following orders from the U.S. Department of Defense. He says it helps to make transitions in the military smoother.

"You need it where the guard has to be aligned with the federal programs. Whatever the federal program is for the guard, army, or air, it should be the same."

He says both the Texas and Mississippi National Guards may end up hurting themselves in the long run.

"They're probably not going to get as high a priority, let's say if you're getting a new airplane, as a unit that is supporting everything that the federal government is."

Although Alabama is honoring federal orders, Senator Bryan Taylor says state law remains the same.

"When it comes to state benefits that are available to guard members, benefits that are provided by the tax payers of Alabama, I think you will see that Alabama law will continue to control those state benefits."



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