As a veteran of the N.C. National Guard, I’d like to commend the leadership of our state’s guard for its announcement that it will begin recognizing same-sex marriages for federal benefits (Sept. 10 news story).
I was shocked to learn that the Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana National Guards had refused to follow the Department of Defense directive on this matter. Not only have the commanders of these organizations disobeyed a lawful order from the Pentagon, they’ve abandoned their oaths to defend and uphold the U.S. Constitution. They justify their actions by citing state laws that conflict with the federal law, but under Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, state laws (and constitutions) are unenforceable when they conflict with federal law. The N.C. Guard could have used last year’s state constitutional amendment as an excuse to attempt the same thing, but it has wisely declined to do so.
The commanders in Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana should read the Constitution that they have sworn to defend.