King says ‘no’ to benefits for same-sex couples in Texas National Guard

Posted Tuesday, Sep. 24, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Recently, Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, signed a letter submitted by the Texas Conservative Coalition to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott supporting Texas Adjutant General John Nichols in his decision to withhold state benefits to same-sex couples who serve in the Texas Military Forces (TXMF).

“The Texas Constitution recognizes only a union between one man and one woman as a lawful marriage,” King said. “I support and applaud General Nichols in his position to withhold state benefits from same-sex couples who serve in the Texas Military Forces and for upholding our Texas Constitution.”

Also recently, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced his directive to extend family and partner benefits to same-sex couples for active U.S. military personnel due to the U.S. Supreme Court decision that found Section II of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. While TXMF is a state agency that is under federal authority in limited and well-defined circumstances, per the state constitution, the Adjutant General is bound by oath and duty to uphold laws in the state of Texas. Offering state benefits to same-sex couples who serve in the TXMF would be a direct violation of the Texas Constitution and Texas State Law.

A letter to Abbott, signed by King and 48 other legislators, asks that the Attorney General issue an opinion in support of the Texas Constitution, which prohibits state agencies – specifically the Texas Military Forces – from recognizing same-sex marriage.

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