Georgia and Mississippi have been the last two states refusing to comply with the Defense Department’s directive to provide federal same-sex spousal benefits to National Guard servicemembers, but Georgia has now followed in the footsteps of Texas and Louisiana to correct the violation.
According to the Washington Blade’s preliminary report Monday, only federal employees will process the benefits so that state employees do not violate the state’s constitutional ban on recognizing same-sex unions. It remains unclear what changes — if any — were actually made to make this concession possible. In Oklahoma, by contrast, all of the ID-processing machines were moved to National Guard facilities on federal property, forcing all couples of any orientation to travel to those facilities, even if a state base that previously had one of the machines is much closer.
Mississippi is now the only state refusing to comply with the directive, even though the other 28 states with constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage have managed to find a way.