The fight over full military benefits for National Guard members in same-sex relationships continues despite the Department of Defense's shift in policy last July. Oklahoma just became the latest state to block military benefits to its gay Guard members on the grounds that it violates its state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, the Associated Press reports.
As the Sooner State joins Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi in the legal fight against military benefits for same-sex Guard members, ABC News looked into whether the blockades work or simply create a nuisance for Guard members.
According to the news source, DoD officials insist that same-sex servicemembers can still receive their benefits regardless of state law.
"All federal military installations (in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Louisiana) will issue IDs to all those who provide a valid marriage certificate from a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage," Pentagon spokesman Nathan Christensen told the news source.
However, the news outlet reports that same-sex military couples are forced to travel longer distances to obtain their promised benefits. For example, Texas National Guard spouse Alicia Butler told ABC News that she will have to drive 120 miles round-trip to a federal military installation – a trip she can not make with her current job and 6-month-old child.
"This is an ominous signal Texas is giving," Butler said.