Coming June 9, 2016, Here & Now listeners and visitors will experience our stories and journalism online in a whole new way.
In response to the overturning of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act by the U.S. Supreme Court last summer, the Department of Defense this September began to recognize same-sex married military couples and provide them with the same spousal benefits as straight couples.
But several states including Georgia, Louisiana and Texas and Mississippi say the federal policy conflicts with their state laws, which do not recognize same sex marriage.
Four states are not allowing gay spouses to obtain benefits on state-run National Guard bases and three other states are sending all members — gay or straight — to federal facilities to register.
Gay military members say they often must travel far distances, sometimes out of state, to get the benefits for which they are entitled. In some extreme cases, gay married spouses cannot get a housing allowance and other benefits because they cannot go to the state-run bases.
National Guard lieutenant colonel Chris Rowzee speaks with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson about her experiences as a gay, married woman in the military. He also speaks with Alicia Butler, an Austin lawyer who is married to a first lieutenant in the Texas Army National Guard.