Texas Caves On National Guard

Via press release from Lambda Legal:

After increasing pressure to follow U.S. Department of Defense guidelines, the Texas Military Forces today allowed Lambda Legal’s client, Alicia Butler the wife of 1st Lt. Judith Chedville to register for federal military benefits at Camp Mabry. “We are thrilled for Alicia and Judith who just wanted to take steps, like all military families, to access critical support networks and benefits provided to families of servicemembers,” Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Paul Castillo said. “Texas Military Forces implements a host of federal benefits programs for all National Guard units in the state and it should be no different for married same-sex couples.”

In September, Lambda Legal submitted a letter urging the commanding officer of the Texas Military Forces to abide by U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) guidelines and allow married same-sex military couples to register for federal benefits at any military base in the state. Since that first contact, Lambda Legal has engaged in continued aggressive advocacy at all levels to urge this result. I am so pleased to have this spousal ID card and begin to access a range of benefits,” Butler said. “My wife served our country and our family needs support like all military families.”

The American Military Partner Association reacts:

“We applaud the Texas Military Forces for changing course and the Department of Defense for making sure this issue is resolved in Texas,” said Stephen Peters, president of AMPA. “All military spouses, regardless of orientation or gender, deserve to treated with the same dignity, respect, and support for their sacrifices in support of our nation, no matter what state they serve in. We urge the remaining states who have not yet complied with Department of Defense policy to do so quickly and affirm their commitment to all military families.”