Last night I reported that the Texas National Guard planned to stop processing benefits applications for all couples to avoid recognizing same-sex marriages. My report was based on statements from the American Military Partner Association, a support group for LGBT military families that has been at the forefront of this issue nationwide. However, the American Military Partner Association issued a correction Wednesday morning. The AMPA now says it believes the Texas National Guard will process benefits applications from same-sex couples at all locations, including five state-controlled National Guard facilities that were not previously doing so. Here is the AMPA’s corrected statement:
Updated AMPA Statement on Texas National Guard Processing Same-Gender Spouses
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, DC – The American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation’s premier resource and support network for LGBT military spouses and their families, released the following updated statement today regarding the decision by the Texas Military Forces to begin processing same-gender spouses for federal military benefits. After releasing a statement last night showing concern over the outcome, upon further inquiry, we now understand that all locations, including the 5 state controlled national guard properties that were previously not doing so, will now process same-gender military spouses for federal military benefits.
“We applaud the Texas Military Forces for changing course and the Department of Defense for making sure this issue is resolved in Texas,” said Stephen Peters, president of AMPA. “All military spouses, regardless of orientation or gender, deserve to treated with the same dignity, respect, and support for their sacrifices in support of our nation, no matter what state they serve in. We urge the remaining states who have not yet complied with Department of Defense policy to do so quickly and affirm their commitment to all military families.”
Chris Rowzee, a spokeswoman for the AMPA, added the following in an email this morning:
“We’re still trying to nail it down too. Not every guard base had the equipment to do it. In researching it this morning, we think there were only 5 originally, so it now appears that TX completely changed course.”
I’m still waiting for a response from the Texas National Guard to clarify the new procedure, and I’ll update this post accordingly.