The Louisiana National Guard announced Tuesday that it will begin complying with the Defense Department’s directive to process benefits for servicemembers’ same-sex spouses. The state had previously been one of a handful that refused to comply, citing its constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage as a reason it could not process the benefits.
Like Texas did last week, Louisiana worked out a way to ensure that federal personnel will handle everything related to same-sex benefits to ensure no state official contradicts the constitutional amendment, even when the transaction takes place at a state-run facility. This strategy will prevent couples from having to drive further to a federal-run facility, a burden Oklahoma imposed on all married couples, including those in opposite-sex marriages, to comply with the directive.
Though 29 states are impacted by constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage, only two remain that are refusing to process benefits for members of the National Guard with same-sex spouses: Mississippi and Georgia.