home
arts
literature
social sciences
special features
discussion
about glbtq
   search

 
   Encyclopedia
   Discussion
 
 
 
 
Advertising Opportunities
Press Kit
Research Guide
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
Copyright
 
site guide
search tips
research guide
editors & contributors
contact us
send feedback
write the editor
 
 
 
 
subscribe
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter to receive a spotlight on glbtq culture every month.
e-mail address:
 
 
 
  unsubscribe
 
 
Popular Topics in Literature
García Lorca, Federico García Lorca, Federico
The works of García Lorca, internationally recognized as Spain's most prominent lyric poet and dramatist of the twentieth century, are filled with thinly veiled homosexual motifs and themes.
 
Musical Theater
There has always been homosexual involvement in American musical theatre and a homosexual sensibility even in straight musicals, and recently the Broadway musical has welcomed openly homosexual themes and situations.
 
Michelangelo Buonarroti Michelangelo Buonarroti
Best known for his genius in art and architecture, Michelangelo was also an accomplished author of homoerotic poetry.
 
African-American Literature: Gay Male African-American Literature: Gay Male
The African-American gay male literary tradition consists of a substantial body of texts and includes some of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century.
 
Camp Camp
Combining elements of incongruity, theatricality, and exaggeration, camp is a form of humor that helps homosexuals cope with a hostile environment.
 
Hughes, Langston Hughes, Langston
Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
 
Baldwin, James Arthur Baldwin, James Arthur
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
 
Wilde, Oscar Wilde, Oscar
Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
 
Topics In the News
 
Discriminatory National Guards Cave on Spousal Benefits
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 12/14/13
Last updated on: 12/14/13
 
Bookmark and Share


Secretary Hagel adresses the Anti-Defamation League.

On October 31, 2013, in a sternly worded speech delivered to the Anti-Defamation League, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel revealed that nine state National Guards had refused service to gay and lesbian servicemembers and families and that he had ordered them to end their discriminatory practices immediately. The states--Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and West Virginia--had refused to comply with DOD orders to provide ID cards to same-sex spouses at National Guard facilities. On December 13, Hagel announced that all states are now in compliance with DOD regulations.

Following the June 26, 2013 Supreme Court ruling invalidating the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Department of Defense began providing spousal and family benefits for military members and eligible civilian employees in same-sex marriages. A crucial part of the process of accessing many of the benefits is obtaining ID cards. In an August 15 communication the DOD notified the state National Guard units that they were to begin issuing ID cards to same-sex spouses beginning September 3, 2013.

However, citing state constitutional provisions or statutes banning the recognition of same-sex marriage, the National Guard units of nine states refused to issue the ID cards at state facilities. Instead, they required service members or eligible employees to travel to federal facilities to obtain the ID cards.

In his remarks at the 100th annual Anti-Defamation League in New York on October 31, Hagel said that "the adjutants general [of the nine states not in compliance] will be expected to comply with both lawful direction and Defense Department policy, in line with the practices of 45 other states and jurisdictions."

He explained that the benefits are offered "because everyone who serves our country in uniform . . . should receive the full benefits they earned, fairly and in accordance with the law. Everyone's rights must be protected."

Hagel added that he had directed the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, General Frank Grass, to take immediate action to remedy this situation.

In his remarks in New York, Hagel explained that the denial of ID cards at National Guard facilities unnecessarily forces couples to travel to federal facilities. "Not only does this violate the states' obligations under federal law, their actions have created hardship and inequality by forcing couples to travel long distances to federal military bases to obtain the ID cards they're entitled to," he said. "This is wrong. It causes division among the ranks, and it furthers prejudice, which DOD has fought to extinguish."

On December 13, Secretary Hagel announced that all the states are now in compliance. In all jurisdictions, gay and lesbian servicemembers and their families now have equal access to benefits.

As Jennifer Steinauer notes in the New York Times, the Department of Defense has overridden the objections of the states who had resisted equal rights for servicemembers and their families.

The six weeks of negotiation resulted in agreements that allowed the most recalcitrant states, those most intent on harming gay and lesbian families, a figleaf to cover their abject surrender and to save face after weeks of bluster and defiance.

For example, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas are placing the identification card machine operators on their National Guard bases on a temporary federal status to issue ID cards and enroll same-sex spouses in the Dependent Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, or DEERS.

Florida, Oklahoma, and South Carolina moved the National Guard ID card machines to facilities on federal installations. This practice will inconvenience all service members and their families, but at least the inconvenience will be felt equally. The governors of these states dislike the gay and lesbian soldiers that protect them so much that they are willing to also inconvenience straight soldiers and their families.

Indiana and West Virginia simply dropped their opposition and began processing ID cards and DEERS enrollments at all guard facilities.

Following Hagel's announcement, Stephen Peters, president of the American Military Partner Association, said, "We applaud the administration and Secretary Hagel for seeing this issue through and ensuring all state National Guards are compliant." However, Peters added, many state governments still discriminate against gay military families in other ways.

Congratulations to Secretary Hagel for insisting that gay and lesbian servicemembers and their families be treated fairly.

In the video below, the incomparable Rachel Maddow reports on Hagel's order and places it in historical context.

 
Related Encyclopedia Entries
 
browse:   arts   literature   social-sciences   discussion boards
 
learn more about glbtq       contact us       advertise on glbtq.com
 
Bookmark and Share

glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2014, glbtq, Inc.

Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.