Texas Military Forces: Refusal to process same-sex military spouses was ‘Mistake’Online Only, Top Highlights, Around the Nation Tuesday, March 17th, 2015
After intervention today by representatives of the American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the Texas Military Forces clarified that three same-sex couples should not have been denied assistance at the federal military identification card enrollment center at Camp Mabry, the headquarters of the Texas Military Forces, near Austin, Texas, writes Chris Rowzee on the AMPA Blog. All three couples had been turned away March 13 after being told that they would not be provided service because their marriages were not recognized by the state of Texas. One of the couples was contacted today and given a priority appointment to enroll for their benefits and ID card.
“The incident Friday evening brought to my attention the LGBT military community still has a battle ahead,” said SPC Eric Osby, the service members of one of the impacted couples who received today’s appointment. ‘The fight for equality remains tedious, however AMPA made the experience over the last few days easier. With their help, our re-visit today to get my husband’s ID card was a breeze.”
When speaking with AMPA, a Camp Mabry spokesperson claimed that budget cuts resulted in a severely understaffed section, and that the clerk was “fairly new.” It is not clear, however, why the clerk turned away only the same-sex couples, nor why she specifically told them they were refused service because their marriages weren’t recognized in Texas. The spokesperson told AMPA this was not Texas Guard policy and would be immediately rectified.
AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack issued this statement upon news of today’s update: “We are satisfied that this injustice has been corrected, and we are cautiously optimistic that Camp Mabry is taking steps to ensure its personnel are properly trained and counseled to exhibit the dignity and respect that all military families deserve.”
AMPA earlier today strongly condemned the blatant discrimination in a letter to the Adjutant General of the Texas Military Forces, Major General Berry, outlining the situation that occurred and calling for an immediate investigation and clarification.
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