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AL Governor Denying Gay National Guardsmen Their Benefits

From George Corley Wallace standing in a doorway at the University of Alabama to block the entry of black students to Robert Bentley assuming his position in the doorway of the National Guard to prevent same-sex partners from receiving benefits, sadly the attitudes of our state’s leaders haven’t changed much in the past half century.

Even as our federal government has amended its woefully discriminatory policies that denied benefits to the same-sex partners and spouses of federal workers, Governor Bentley has vowed to do just the opposite. Rolling back the clock and insisting that when National Guard personnel are under his control, the state will deny said benefits.

Discriminating against National Guard personnel who happen to be LGBT individuals does not qualify as “patriotism,” and it certainly doesn’t equate to “supporting our troops,” as Alabamians are quick to insist how passionately we support our country and those who serve it. To the contrary, it’s openly hostile to those serving our country and is little more than a clenched fist exercise in discrimination fueled by misguided ignorance and fear.

Scoring political points by appealing to one’s conservative base should not come at the expense of anyone’s basic human rights. 

Pandering political stances should never trump equality and doing what is right, especially in a nation in which we pride ourselves on equal opportunity and individual liberties. And denying equal treatment to anyone who serves and defends our country is a slap in the face to everyone who has ever put on a uniform and an affront to the unwavering idea that we’re all created equal and should be treated accordingly.

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