On Thursday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that he was ordering all National Guard units to comply with Pentagon policy regarding spousal benefits for gay soldiers. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin may go to court to stop him.
Alex Weintz, spokesman for Gov. Mary Fallin, said she “is working with Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to evaluate the legal options available to the Oklahoma National Guard.” Weintz stopped short of saying Oklahoma will refuse to follow Hagel’s order, but made it clear Fallin would not go along with it willingly. “Gov. Fallin is calling on President Obama and Secretary Hagel to stop using the National Guard as a pawn in a larger social agenda,” said Weintz. “The president has made it clear he supports gay marriage. He has the legal authority to order federal agencies to recognize gay marriages. He does not have the legal authority to force state agencies to do so, or to unilaterally rewrite state laws or state constitutions.”
Following Hagel’s edict, Indiana’s Attorney General agreed to comply. Other states who have not yet done so: Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.