Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


US chief reprimands states over gay rights

01 November 2013, 11:18

Washington - Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel rebuked several US states on Thursday for failing to grant full spousal benefits to the partners of gay and lesbian members of the armed forces.

Hagel said nine states had failed to recognise the rights of same-sex partners of military personnel based at National Guard installations.

The Pentagon chief said the situation had arisen despite federal recognition of the rights of gay couples.

"All spouses of service members are entitled to Department of Defense ID cards, and the benefits that come with them," Hagel said in remarks to the Anti-Defamation League in New York.

"But several states are refusing to issue these IDs to same-sex spouses at National Guard facilities."

He added that "not only does this violate the states' obligations under federal law, their actions have created hardship and inequality by forcing couples to travel long distances to federal military bases to obtain the ID cards they're entitled to."

"This is wrong. It causes division among the ranks, and it furthers prejudice, which the Department of Defence has fought to extinguish."

Without the identity cards, those affected were unable to benefit from numerous social and health services made available to military spouses, or to access shops on bases.

Hagel said he had ordered the head of the National Guard, General Frank Grass, to remedy the situation.

Texas law does not recognise gay marriage despite landmark federal rulings earlier this year.

Other states that have refused to comply are Indiana, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia, according to a senior defence official.

The Pentagon estimates the number of individuals affected by the recognition of same-sex marriage at 5 600 for active service, and 17 000 including National Guard, reserves and retirees.


Tags us gay rights

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...