State Senator and Attorney General candidate Ken Paxton signed a letter Wednesday submitted by the Texas Conservative Coalition to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott supporting Texas Adjutant General John Nichols in his decision not to confer state benefits to same-sex couples who serve in the Texas Military Forces.
“The Texas Constitution prohibits us from recognizing same-sex marriage in any form, and I support General Nichols in his position to withhold state benefits from same-sex couples who serve in the Texas Military Forces,” Paxton said. “The Texas Military Forces and Texas Adjutant General are constitutional officers of the State of Texas, and it is my belief that the Texas Military Forces are prohibited from conferring spousal or dependent benefits upon same-sex couples.”
Recently, United States Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced his decision to extend family and partner benefits to same-sex couples for active US military personnel. Major General Nichols, as the Texas Adjutant General, declined to confer state benefits to same-sex couples who serve in the TXMF based on his understanding that conferring these benefits would contradict the Texas Constitution.
The letter to Attorney General Greg Abbott, signed by 48 Texas legislators, cites the Texas Constitutional provision which recognizes marriage as a union of one man and one woman and prohibits the state or any political subdivision of the state from creating or recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage.
Submitted by Ken Paxton