Oklahoma City, OK —
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, a Republican, has accused President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel of attempting to force Oklahoma and 8 other states to recognize gay marriage.
On Thursday, Hagel ordered National Guard units in 9 states to comply with federal policy on gay couples.
"This is wrong," Hagel said in addressing an Anti-Defamation League audience in New York. "It causes division among our ranks, and it furthers prejudice, which DoD has fought to extinguish, as has the ADL."
"Not only does this violate the states' obligation under federal law, their actions have created hardship and inequity by forcing couples to travel long distances to federal military bases to obtain the ID cards they're entitled to."
The Pentagon announced in August that it would recognize the legal marriages of gay troops following a Supreme Court ruling that gutted the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibited federal agencies from recognizing such unions.
As of September 3, servicemembers in a marriage with a member of the same sex could apply for spousal benefits.
But National Guard bases in several states refused to process the requests and instead encouraged gay troops to enroll at bases operated by the Department of Defense.
On Friday, Indiana said that it would comply.
But a spokesman for Fallin said Oklahoma was weighing its options.
"Gov. Fallin is calling on President Obama and Secretary Hagel to stop using the National Guard as a pawn in a larger social agenda," Alex Weintz told the Tulsa World
. "The president has made it clear he supports gay marriage. He has the legal authority to order federal agencies to recognize gay marriages. He does not have the legal authority to force state agencies to do so, or to unilaterally rewrite state laws or state constitutions."
The other states involved are Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.