News from the Plains: All this RED can make you BLUE
It's OK to hate gays in OK
by Barry Friedman
(Optional musical accompaniment)
So, how hard was this one to get right?
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has ordered the National Guard to stop processing requests for military benefits for same-sex couples, her office confirmed Tuesday, despite a Pentagon directive to do so.Apparently too hard.
Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz said the governor was following the wish of Oklahoma voters, who approved a constitutional amendment in 2004 that prohibits giving benefits of marriage to gay couples.Ah, leadership. The governor, who, incidentally, is on her second marriage (as is her husband), will protect the sanctity of the institution, because nothing tears at the fabric of society faster than a gay soldier making his lover a beneficiary on a 401k. Good thing we didn't allow voters to decide on the legality of interracial couples, otherwise Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Clarence Thomas and his white wife Ginny would be outlaws.
"Because of that prohibition, Gov. Fallin's general counsel has advised the National Guard not to process requests for benefits of same-sex couples," Weintz said. "Gay couples that have been legally married in other states will be advised they can apply for those benefits on federal facilities, such as Tinker Air Force Base, rather than state run facilities."
That constitutional amendment, by the way, in addition to denying benefits to same sex spouses, also says Oklahoma will not recognize same-sex marriages from other states, which is a problem because the United States Constitution says it has to.
SECTION 1.And ... there is the matter of the recent SCOTUS decision stiking down the Defense of Marriage Act (something Justice Thomas astonishingly voted against doing).
Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.
The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states.
This decision means that legally married same-sex couples are now entitled to the same federal benefits as married opposite sex couples.And ... there is the matter of the makeup of the National Guard.
"Her legal argument is full of holes," said Chris Rowzee, spokeswoman for National Guard affairs for AMPA. "National Guards are not solely state entities; they are a joint entity with the federal government."And ... there is the matter of the directive from the Department of Defense of the United States of America that benefits be granted to same-sex domestic partners in the military.
The Department of Defense has announced the extension of equal benefits for ALL military spouses, regardless of sexual orientation.And ... there is the matter of the Oklahoma Constitution itself.
Section I-1: Supreme law of land.Slowly ... and with feeling: THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATE IS THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND. It's on page one, for the love of Madison!
The State of Oklahoma is an inseparable part of the Federal
Union, and the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law
of the land.
This should settle it, right? Aside from being pernicious, heartless, and petty, the governor's decision is legally indefensible. Now if we could just get her to stop confusing Oklahoma with Oklahoma!
This is what she said at the Republican National Convention.
The history of my state of Oklahoma offers a great example of pursuing the American Dream. It was built and settled by pioneers moving West to seek better lives. During the great the Land Run of 1889, thousands of families rushed to put a stake down on empty plots of land. They built tent cities overnight, they farmed the land and they worked hard. And in 1897, eight years after the Land Run, a handful of adventurous pioneers risked their own money – NOT, the federal government’s – to drill Oklahoma’s first oil well, the Nellie Johnstone. Mr. President, we know better. As we say in Oklahoma, that dog won't hunt.Except, Governor, this isn't the end of the musical where Laurey and Curly ride off in their surrey with the fringe on top without having to register the surrey at DMV--it's a real place where the Morrill Land-Grant, railroad, and homestead acts ... the U.S. Military, meat inspectors, and federal highway money ... hunting licenses, Pell Grants, and U.S. Weather Service--not to mention the $1.35 it gets back from the federal government for every $1 it pays in taxes--all made the state what it is today.
In belonging to that commonwealth, we adhere to its laws--and not just the ones we like.
That's the deal.
Oklahoma is still part of the United States of America. It would be nice if we acted like it.
Ed. Note: That picture above is National Guard Sgt. Heather Britt-Davis, who will soon be returning home from Afghanistan later this month. The woman around her neck is Kasey, her spouse.
This is what a soldier's family looks like.
This is what America looks like.
This is what Oklahoma looks like.
This is what marriage looks like
This is what love looks like.