Miss. joins Texas in refusing to process applications from gay military families


Gov. Rick Perry

Mississippi has joined Texas in refusing to process applications for military ID cards for same-sex spouses. Texas has a total ban on processing applications. Mississippi won’t issue applications from state-owned offices.

Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry weighed in on the controversy and said Texas Military Forces is a state agency and must obey state law.

The Oklahoma National Guard only received one inquiry the first day applications were being accepted. That couple is not yet married.

“As long as the soldier presents that marriage certificate or license, then we would treat that claim just like we would any other soldier that brings in a marriage license or certificate,” Oklahoma National Guard spokesman Col. Max Moss said.

The American Military Partner Association, a group that supports spouses of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, launched a petition targeting Perry: “Tell Governor Rick Perry to Stop Playing Politics with our Military Families in Texas!” and encouraged signers to swamp his office with calls.

“Our military families have enough challenges to deal with. The last thing they need is more discrimination from Governor Rick Perry of Texas!” the petition states. “Under his leadership, the Texas National Guard is refusing to enroll same-sex military spouses for military benefits at state supported military facilities. Tell Governor Perry to stop playing politics with our military families! Sign the petition then call his office at (512) 463-1782 or (512) 463-2000.”

Sign it by going here.

—  David Taffet

Oklahoma lawmaker seeks to ban gays from serving openly in state’s National Guard

Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City

An Oklahoma state legislator has introduced a bill that would effectively reinstate “don’t ask, don’t tell” for the state’s National Guard troops. State Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, told the Tulsa World that he filed the bill in response to requests from members of the Oklahoma National Guard:

Reynolds’ bill would amend the existing state law that allows any able-bodied U.S. citizen or person who has declared intentions of becoming a citizen and who is at least 18 years old and not yet 70 to serve in the Guard.

The amendment would prohibit anyone who was ineligible to serve in the U.S. armed forces under federal regulations that were in effect on Jan. 1, 2009, from serving in the Guard.

Reynolds said the state is allowed to set its own standards for service in the National Guard and is not required to duplicate standards for the rest of the U.S. military.

ThinkProgress notes that Reynolds was an endorser of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s August prayer rally, the Response, and also is a supporter of anti-gay Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern:

Last year, Reynolds endorsed the Response, Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s controversial public prayer event, which was organized and attended by a who’s-who of anti-gay leaders. “I am encouraging Oklahomans to join with thousands of other Christians from around the nation in participating in this event. Go and show your support of public prayer,” Reynolds told the Pauls Valley Democrat in July.

A supporter of state Rep. Sally Kern’s (R) “Oklahoma Citizens Proclamation for Morality,” Reynolds has also spoken out against so-called “homosexual activists” after a gay minister recognized a same-sex couple in the gallery during an opening prayer.

Lawmakers in Virginia have also tried to reinstate DADT for the state’s National Guard, but the bill died in committee.

On the presidential campaign trail, Perry has repeatedly touted that fact that as governor, he serves as commander in chief for Texas’ 20,000 National Guard troops. Perry has also said he wants to reinstate DADT. So it’s unclear why Perry hasn’t proposed similar legislation in Texas.

UPDATE: The Human Rights Campaign and The Equality Network of Oklahoma have put out a joint statement responding to Reynolds’ bill. Read it after the jump. Also, HRC has launched a petition which you can sign by going here.

—  John Wright