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Labor and Employment Law

National Guards Defy Pentagon Directive on Benefits for Same-Sex Couples

 The day after the Pentagon announced that the military would recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court's June ruling on the issue, the Louisiana and Texas National Guards said they would refuse to process applications for benefits from same-sex couples, and the Mississippi National Guard said it would refuse to issue applications to same-sex couples at its state-owned offices. All three agencies cited their respective state bans on gay marriage and directed same-sex couples to take up their benefit requests with their federal counterparts. The remarks of Louisiana National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Michael Kazmierzak's were fairly representative: 
"The state of Louisiana does not recognize same-sex marriage, nor does it allow a state official to take part in an act that recognizes same-sex marriage," he said. "We would refer those individuals interested in applying for such benefits to seek guidance at a federal military installation." 
It remains to be seen whether any of the other 12 states that also ban same-sex marriages will also opt to limit how and where same-sex spouses of National Guard members can apply for benefits. (ASSOCIATED PRESS, POLITICO, NOLA.COM) 

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