PRYOR, OK —
Engraved on the front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building is the phrase: Equal Justice Under Law. The Supreme Court, in that very building, promoted equal justice when it recently struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) — an Act which barred the spouse in a same-sex marriage from receiving federal marriage benefits such as social security survivors’ benefits. Therefore, Chuck Hagel, U. S. Department of Defense Secretary, ordered states to provide same-sex couples with the federal marriage benefits they’re now eligible for under federal law.
Oklahoma’s Gov. Mary Fallin has scorned the idea of “equal justice under law” by decreeing that some of this state’s citizens are not equal.
Fallin brought shame to Oklahoma by denying benefits to same-sex married couples who serve our country in the military, some of whom have probably risked their lives fighting for us in Iraq and Afghanistan. Specifically, Fallin ruled that a gay couple can not apply for military spouse benefits — such as housing allowance or an ID card — at any state-run National Guard facility.
When her position was questioned, Fallin took her anti-gay posture to the logical extreme by denying the processing of ALL military spouse benefits —- gay or straight —- at any state-run National Guard facility. In other words, she has cancelled marriage! So, if you’re a gay soldier and want your spouse to be eligible for benefits, you must now travel (sometimes long distances) to one of five federally run facilities in Oklahoma, for example, Camp Gruber near Braggs.
Fallin’s excuse for not recognizing same-sex couples is because Oklahoma has an anti-gay marriage law on the books. She is saying that this small state’s anti-gay law trumps the ruling of the United States Supreme Court. What an arrogant, untrue statement to cover her bigotry against gay Oklahomans.
Her prejudice against Oklahoma’s gay citizens is so strong that she’s willing to violate a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Wanda Jo Stapleton
Former State Representative
PRYOR, OK —
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