"It's so petty. It's not like it's going to stop us from registering or stop us from marrying. It's a pointed way of saying, 'We don't like you," Butler said.
She said she was concerned the state would withhold survivor benefits if something happened to her wife while she was activated on state duty rather than on federal deployment.
"People say, 'Why don't you live somewhere else?'" she said. "Well, my ancestors came here five generations ago to get away from this kind of stuff, and this is my state and I'm not going to go away."
The American Military Partner Association, which advocates for lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender people in the armed forces, gave the AP a copy of Nichols' letter.
"It's truly outrageous that the State of Texas has decided to play politics with our military families," said Stephen Peters, the organization's president. "Our military families are already dealing with enough problems and the last thing they need is more discrimination from the state of Texas."
In Florida, where gay marriage is banned, state Department of Military Affairs spokesman Lt. Col. James Evans said he was unaware of any policy that would prohibit accepting a request for processing benefits.
Requests for benefits for same-sex couples in Oklahoma, where gay marriage also is illegal, will be handled like those from heterosexual couples, said Oklahoma National Guard spokesman Col. Max Moss. So far, only one National Guard soldier has inquired about receiving benefits for her same-sex partner, but she didn't have a valid marriage license from a states that authorizes same-sex marriages, Moss said.
"As long as the soldier presents that marriage certificate or license, then we would treat that claim just like we would any other soldier that brings in a marriage license or certificate," Moss said.
Associated Press writers Lolita Baldor in Washington; Holbrook Mohr in Jackson, Miss.; John Flesher in Traverse City, Mich.; Sean Murphy in Oklahoma City; Gary Fineout in Tallahassee, Fla.; Barbara Rodriguez in Des Moines, Iowa; John Miller in Boise, Idaho; and Kate Brumback in Atlanta contributed to this report.
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