When Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin was sworn into office, she pledged an oath to “offend the Constitution of the United States.” Of course, everyone chalked this up to a small gaffe, but as it turns out, Gov. Fallin is remaining true to her word.
In September, Fallin swore to prohibit Oklahoma’s National Guard from providing benefits to married same-sex couples, directly violating a Pentagon directive and a presidential ruling. Fallin is now pushing even harder after her failed attempts against same-sex couples by denying spousal benefits for the entire Oklahoma National Guard, including straight couples. In other words, the Republican Governor would prefer to reject every soldier their benefits over granting same-sex couples the rights they have been federally granted.
In a statement released by Fallin:
Oklahoma law is clear. The state of Oklahoma does not recognize same-sex marriages, nor does it confer marriage benefits to same-sex couples. The decision reached today allows the National Guard to obey Oklahoma law without violating federal rules or policies. It protects the integrity of our state constitution and sends a message to the federal government that they cannot simply ignore our laws or the will of the people.
It’s difficult to even imagine that Fallin herself could possibly believe this astoundingly flawed principle. Providing military benefits to same-sex couples is not just a simple recommendation, it’s an actual federally mandated law, signed into law by the President. Whether the policy violates the Oklahoma state constitution or not, The Constitution of The United States declares that “the laws of the United States shall be the supreme law of the land,” regardless of “the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary.” The law now requires spousal benefits for same-sex couples. The governor cannot simply just brush off the constitution due to her homophobic politics.
Other typical states that have attempted to ignore the federal law in defense of their anti-gay state constitution include Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia. Fallin promised that she would “offend the Constitution” and so far, she’s doing a great job. Meanwhile, of course, the lives of married Oklahoma National Guard members are increasingly more painful due to the actions of a vindictive homophobic Republican Governor.
h/t Daily Kos