Governor: No same-sex benefits for AL National Guard under state - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Governor: No same-sex benefits for AL National Guard under state control

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Alabama's governor clarified the state's position on extending federal benefits to same sex married couples in the Alabama National Guard.

"When the Alabama National Guard is under my command, which is often, then they're under Alabama law," Gov. Bentley said during his Road to Economic Recovery Tour in Wetumpka.

Gay marriages are not recognized in Alabama and the state's constitution defines marriage as a partnership between one man and one woman.

Shortly after the United States Supreme Court struck down the Federal Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional, the Department of Defense took steps to make all federal benefits extend to same-sex couples who obtained their marriage licenses in state where the practice is legal. Those benefits include health insurance, survivors' payments, and housing for same sex couples.

Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi have all announced that they would not extend the federal benefits to Guard members in their states. All three of those states do not recognize gay marriage.

"It's very simple" Gov. Bentley said. "When they're under my command, they're under state law. When they're under the command of the president, they're under federal law."

What isn't clear is how those benefits will be doled out. The governor didn't say whether there was any sort of triggering mechanism that dictated when certain benefits would be granted or denied.

Calls to the Alabama National Guard were not returned.

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