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Oklahoma governor orders National Guard to stop processing gay couples’ benefits

State follows in footsteps of Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin Credit: ok.gov

After the National Guard in Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana refused to allow gay couples to apply for marriage benefits at state facilities, Oklahoma’s governor has also ordered the National Guard in her state to stop processing requests for military benefits for same-sex couples, The Huffington Post reports.

Like Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana, Oklahoma has a gay-marriage ban in effect.

A spokesperson for Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin says she’s adhering to the wishes of the electorate, which approved a constitutional amendment that prohibits giving benefits of marriage to gay couples, the report says.

Gay couples who were legally married in other states will be referred to federal facilities where they can apply for the benefits.

Oklahoma National Guard spokesman Colonel Max Moss says the benefit requests of two gay soldiers had already been processed prior to Fallin’s order.

Sept 3 was the first day service members could apply for benefits after the Department of Defense said it would recognize legal same-sex marriages.

The president of the American Military Partner Association (AMPA), a group that advocates for gay military families, is calling on the Defense Department to intervene.

“Since the governor of Oklahoma has decided to join Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana in playing politics with our military families, we need immediate and decisive action from the Administration and the Defense Department in affirming that all military spouses, regardless of sexual orientation, will be treated equally,” Stephen Peters says in a statement. “Our military families should not be left vulnerable to the prejudice of state governors, and the Defense Department must use its control of federal funds to stop this discrimination.”