Louisiana Ignores Pentagon Orders, Refuses To Provide Spousal Benefits To LGBT Troops
Louisiana has taken a page out of Texas' tattered book and decided to punish some troops. Even though directed by the Defense Department to provide military spousal benefits to LGBT troops starting this week, the state is refusing, citing its ban on marriage equality as the reason.
The Louisiana National Guard won't process benefits for same-sex couples because the state Constitution does not recognize gay marriage, a spokesman confirmed Wednesday. The directive directly contradicts a Pentagon policy issued Tuesday requiring the military to honor such benefits requests.
"The state of Louisiana does not recognize same-sex marriage, nor does it allow a state officials to take part in an act that recognizes same-sex marriage. We would refer those individuals interested in applying for such benefits to seek guidance at a federal military installation," said Lt. Col. Michael Kazmierzak.
An amendment to the Louisiana Constitution, passed in 2004, states marriage "shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman." Any status "identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized."