September 03, 2013
Contact: Mark Mazzone

SPART*A Issues Statement Regarding Texas National Guard Members Turned Away From Facilities for Benefits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mark Mazzone, Deputy Communications Director, SPART*A

Communications@spartapride.org, 910.431.5207

 

SPART*A Issues Statement Regarding Texas National Guard Members Turned Away From Facilities for Benefits

 

Washington, D.C., September 3, 2013 – Our National Guard brothers and sisters have made sacrifices in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in service during natural disasters and state emergencies. The recent decision by Texas Military Forces (TXMF) to redirect its state service members with same-sex spouses to federal installations for enrollment in DEERS (Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System) isn't a mere inconvenience, it is a blatant act of state-sanctioned discrimination against those who serve and their families. SPART*A Co-Chair Jeremy Johnson said this problem must be resolved immediately. 

 

"The Department of Defense no longer discriminates against same-sex military families and instead embraces them as an important part the support structure for uniformed members. This announcement by Texas Military Forces makes clear that that they are either unwilling or incapable of doing the same. If that is the case, the Department of Defense must ensure that there is no question about the rights of same-sex military families and their ability to access the benefits to which they are entitled." 

 

SPART*A calls upon the DOD to ensure Texas and all states with discriminatory laws regarding same-sex marriage honor the service and sacrifice of all military families by giving them equal access to all DEERS enrollment facilities.

 

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About SPART*A: SPART*A is a group of LGBT people who currently serve or have served in the military and our families as well as veteran and uniformed allies. We are a membership organization, built by, for and with members from all parts of the LGBT military community. SPART*A’s mission is to advocate for and support our actively serving LGBT military members and veterans, and their families, while working to ensure that the military enforces equal opportunity protections fairly to all.

 

 

This message approved by the Adjutant General's Chief of Staff.

WHO: All TXMF Members

WHAT: Texas Military Forces (TXMF) Implementation of Department of Defense (DoD) Policy Memorandum Extending Benefits to Same-Sex Spouses

WHEN: EFFECTIVE 03 September 2013

The DoD will begin extending spouse and family benefits, such as identification cards, to same-sex spouses. Enrollment into the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) will begin on 3 September 2013

The TXMF is a state agency under the authority and direction of the Texas state government. Therefore, the TXMF must consider that the Texas Constitution and Texas Family Code 6.204 conflicts with the DoD policy extending benefits to same-sex spouses. Due to this potential conflict, we are unable to enroll same-sex families into DEERs at our state supported facilities until we receive legal clarification. However, the TXMF remains committed to ensuring its military personnel and their families receive the benefits to which they are entitled. As such, we encourage anyone affected by this issue to enroll for benefits at a federal installation, which include:

NAS Corpus Christi PSD
Corpus Christi Army Deport (CCAD)
Ft Hood Copeland Service Center
Ft Hood Military Personnel Center
NAS JRB Visitor Control Center
Fort Bliss
US Army Corps of Engineers
ACOE Building ID Card Section
NAS Kingsville
Lackland AFB
Randolph AFB
USAF PKI SPO
Fort Sam Houston
Lackland AFB
Wilford Hall
HQ AF ISR Agency CSS
340 FTG ID Card Section
Sheppard AFB Personnel Building
Dyess AFB
Goodfellow AFB
Laughlin AFB
Sheppard AFB

All media inquiries will be referred to the TXMF Public Affairs office atng.tx.txarng.mbx.pao@mail.mil or 512-782-5620, since it would not be appropriate for agency employees to comment on TXMF or DoD Policy decisions.


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