The “not-so-great” state of Texas and it’s military forces are defying Pentagon orders and refusing to offer partner benefits which include health, pension, and housing, to troops with same-sex spouses, which was supposed to begin today because Texas’ law bans same-sex marriage.
Alicia Butler, an Austin, Texas, attorney, said she was rejected when she tried to register with the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, or DEERS, the military’s health benefits system, when she applied on Tuesday at Camp Mabry, where her spouse, Judith Chedville, a nurse and Iraq war veteran, is stationed as a member of the National Guard.
“We were told that Texas would not register us into the system and would not issue an ID card for me,” Butler said. “We were told that if she was active duty they would do that for me, but not for a National Guard member because she’s part of the Texas National Guard.
Gay, lesbian and bisexual soldiers and their spouses are being told they must seek out a federal facility to apply.