Oklahoma Joins Other States In Refusing To Benefits To Same-Sex Couples

220px-Mary_Fallin225px-OklaJFHQssiThere is an interesting conflict growing between the federal and state governments over same-sex benefits after Oklahoma joined Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana this week in limiting the benefits for same-sex benefits. Yesterday, Oklahoma decided that the Oklahoma National Guard will no longer process benefit requests from same-sex couples by order of Gov. Mary Fallin. The Obama Administration maintains that the national guards must comply with federal law on such benefits in what could be a test of the remaining state control over national guard units.

The Guard is the direct descendent of the state militias from the founding of the Republic. The state control of such militias was always a problem in the Revolutionary War where their command and frankly fighting consistency remained controversial. The units could be called into federal service under Article I, Section 8; Clause 14 by Congress when “calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.” The Militia Act of 1903 created the present National Guard system.

After Vietnam, the federal government cannot uniform training and standards for state units to make them more interchangeable with regular units. The federal government has progressively asserted more and more control over the units. In 2007, The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 declared that the Governor of a state would no longer be the sole commander in chief of their state’s National Guard during emergencies within the state — allowing a President to assert control. Then in 2008, in the National Defense Authorization Act 2008 Congress expanded the authority of a President to call up the National Guard of the United States during national emergencies. These changes were opposed by many governors, but Congress (showing a continued disconnect between members of Congress and their states). In 2006, all 50 governors opposed the expanded control of the federal government over the state units.

This latest controversy is different in one respect. It does not deal with military readiness or conditions for services, but the collateral question of marriage benefits. It could be the last fight over whatever remaining state control exists for the units. It is also the natural progression of increment but consistent federalization of these state units — making them effectively part of the federal military and simply at the disposal of the states. In that sense, it has elements reminiscent of the Obamacare fight where Chief Justice John Roberts recognized federalism and then gutted it by creating a huge hole for things declared to be taxes.

The odds favor the federal government in such a fight, but there are strong state interests and good-faith arguments to be made here. Moreover, it will be interesting to see if the White House welcomes such a fight at this time. The National Guard remains a prized institution for many who still do not accept that they are merely an auxiliary federal force.

Source: Ok.com

61 thoughts on “Oklahoma Joins Other States In Refusing To Benefits To Same-Sex Couples”

  1. Gene H.

    FYI, my daughter is a proud graduate of VMI, thanks to Justice Ginsburg’s excellent reasoning.

  2. David,
    In foreseeing the plans of the homosexual agenda and understanding that it would create this confusion,

    A) the only “agenda” is yours. I simply would like you to see me as an EQUAL. Same Rights that you enjoy without having to fight tooth and nail to have to secure for yourself. Your agenda opposes my equality. Ergo.. BIGOT!

    B) your agenda IS about creating the confusion.

    C) what Faith do you prescribe to that endorses limiting an individuals Right to express love? What kind of Faith goes against love?

  3. Well said Gene. David does not seem to understand that civil unions treat the LGBT community as second class citizens. We either have freedom for all persons to love whomever they want or none of us are truly free.

  4. Legal problems like this arise because some people don’t realize that tradition – even their own preferred religious tradition – isn’t a valid reason for denying equal protection under the 14th Amendment. United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996).

  5. Davidm2575,
    Why must you show off you bigotry with such pride?
    … I suppose you’ll demand a parade.

    1. Max-1 – I don’t have any bigotry. I desire the law to be clear about marriage for everyone, with respect for legal tradition.

      Legal problems like this one arises because there is an attempt to hijack the laws about marriage. This is done by redefining the term marriage into something that it never meant when the existing laws about marriage were passed. In foreseeing the plans of the homosexual agenda and understanding that it would create this confusion, it was proposed by many that a Constitutional Amendment should be passed to define marriage federally for all the States. Unfortunately, agreement could not be reached on this, partly because many did not agree that these legal problems that we see here would arise. They were wrong. Now we will have to suffer under decades of legal wrangling over laws passed prior to the change in societal understanding of exactly what marriage is. It would be so much better if the privileges of same sex unions were defined independently from marriage which traditionally came into use only in reference to opposite sex unions.

  6. SMFH@ how hard the bankers aka israeli cabalist are trying to tear down america and they are doing it the best way from the inside..

  7. I wounder if this action by the governor and the military department is unconstitutional because it impares the heathcare / benefits contract between the soldiers and the federal benefits program:

    From Oklahoma State Constitition:

    Section II-15: Bills of attainder – Ex post facto laws – Obligation of contracts – No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, nor any law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall ever be passed. No conviction shall work a corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate: Provided, that this provision shall not prohibit the imposition of pecuniary penalties.

  8. Rats fleeing ship….

    Associated Press

    (AP:WASHINGTON) President Barack Obama’s White House attorney plans to leave for private practice by the end of the year.

    White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler has worked for the Obama administration since the first day. She has told Obama she plans to leave government service and look for a job in New York.

    The 42-year-old former prosecutor is a member of the president’s national security team and advises him on a wide range of legal issues, including his health care law, counterterrorism and judicial appointees.

    Her departure was first reported by Politico and confirmed by the White House.

    She was promoted to her current job in 2011, after serving as the No. 2 in the counsel’s office. Before that, she was a top political appointee at the Justice Department.

  9. davidm2575,

    Bush/Shrub, death cult members, GOP, (Gay ole Party..leadership)

    Play the tape back,

    They had no trouble with gay marriage/rights until, rumored gay, Rove & Ralph Reed & buds, saw the GOP could use gay rights as a wedge issue to drive support to them & support to Rick Sanatorium types like Romney, Newt & away from moderates like Ron Paul, etc…

  10. I guess President Bush was right when he called for a Constitutional Amendment making marriage between a man and a woman for everyone in the United States. Until we get something like that, the States are not going to be all that united.

  11. Darren,

    Oddly enough, Louisiana has a similar provision.

    “Art. III, §8. Privileges and Immunities

    A member of the legislature shall be privileged from arrest, except for felony, during his attendance at sessions and committee meetings of his house and while going to and from them. No member shall be questioned elsewhere for any speech in either house.”

    It’s caused some minor dust ups in the past here as well.

  12. Gene:

    OT but along the state constitution angle. There was a bit of a spat in the news here recently when it was announced that the State Patrol would not issue speeding tickets to members of the state legislature while the legislature was in session due to the state consititution.

    From KOMO News

    The applicable part of the state constitution reads:

    ARTICLE II, SECTION 16 PRIVILEGES FROM ARREST. Members of the legislature shall be privileged from arrest in all cases except treason, felony and breach of the peace; they shall not be subject to any civil process during the session of the legislature, nor for fifteen days next before the commencement of each session.

    The WSP is likely using the “any civil process” angle and as all traffic infractions are considered a civil process I can understand their interpretation.

    But, the limitation of actions for traffic violations surely would be longer than a legislative session so the tickets can be mailed to them after the conclusion of the session I suppose.

  13. Gene H,

    That was a good piece you wrote in in the comments section in regards to how different groups of people in Southern states see/display Confederate flag.

    This isn’t the ole South.

  14. From JT’s article:

    ** Oklahoma National Guard soldiers and airmen seeking such benefits are now being told they can apply at federal facilities, such as Tinker Air Force Base or Fort Sill, but not at state-run facilities manned by state employees.

    After a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June threw out the Defense of Marriage Act, the U.S. Department of Defense in August announced that it would recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal. Sept. 3 was the first working day that gays in the military could apply for such benefits, including health care coverage, housing allowances and survivor benefits.

    Initially, the Oklahoma National Guard said as long as a soldier seeking benefits for their same-sex partner presented a marriage certificate or license, the claim would be treated as it would for any other soldier. The guard processed two same-sex requests before being notified by Gov. Fallin’s general counsel Sept. 6 that the state constitution prohibited such actions.

    “Because of that legal prohibition, Oklahoma National Guard soldiers and airmen will not process requests for same-sex benefits,” Guard spokesman Col. Max Moss said Tuesday. The guard has received no requests since being notified of the policy change.

    Asked to comment on the policy reversal, a Fallin spokesman cited the 2004 election that amended the state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. The measure, which received 75 percent voter support, also prohibited giving marriage benefits to people who are not married, spokesman Alex Weintz said.

    “It is therefore prohibited by the Oklahoma Constitution for National Guardsmen, or other state employees or entities, to process benefits for gay couples,” Weintz wrote in an email. **


  15. Any time the National Guard comes up, I pull out my soapbox, grab my megaphone, step up and shout, “Remember the Kent State Massacre“. Nixon was President, Rhodes was Governor of Ohio. The National Guard was the tool. Of course the Guard is nothing more than an auxiliary federal force … always has been in my lifetime anyway.


  16. I believe a lot depends on the medical / benefits plan. If it is administered on a federal level I don’t see where the state can override it. At least, according to the article, the military personnel can for now file their paperwork with a federal facility.

    It sounds more politically obstructionist than anything.

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