Defending the family

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God Bless Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and West Virginia -- Six States Opt to Keep National Guard Straight

Half a dozen states are ignoring a federal decree to grant marital benefits to gay members of the National Guard, claiming the mandate conflicts with state laws banning homosexual unions.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act (pdf), which prohibited the federal government from recognizing gay marriages, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel issued an order for gay spouses of National Guard members to receive the same federal marriage benefits as heterosexual spouses.

But six states-Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and West Virginia-have refused to comply, despite the fact that the president has the power to call National Guard units into federal service and that the federal government pays for nearly all Guard funding.

Nevertheless, the states say the units are state agencies that must abide by state laws.