(619) 505-7777

Louisiana National Guard defies Pentagon policy on equality, along with Texas and Mississippi

NEW ORLEANS -- The Louisiana National Guard joined Texas armed forces and Mississippi this week in defying a new Pentagon policy to provide same-gender benefits.

The Guard's Lt. Col. Michael Kazmierzak told nola.com:

"The state of Louisiana does not recognize same-sex marriage, nor does it allow a state officials to take part in an act that recognizes same-sex marriage. We would refer those individuals interested in applying for such benefits to seek guidance at a federal military installation."

The directive ignores the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. The high court said same-gender couples should not be denied equal access to benefits.

Texas and Mississippi used the same excuse earlier this week to deny benefits to same-gender military couples. Several other Southern states, Alabama and North Carolina and Virginia, have agreed to comply with Pentagon policy.

Stephen Peters, president of the American Military Partner Association, blasted the directive.

“Discrimination against our military families in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas is very disturbing," Peters said. "Considering these state guards are primarily federally funded, the White House and Pentagon must take corrective action with these state national guards and their refusal to process same-sex military spouses for benefits."