Hagel: All states complying with same-sex benefitsDecember 13, 2013 @ 8:50 am
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon says that all states are now complying with new rules allowing the same-sex spouses of military members to get ID cards in order to claim benefits.
Nine states, including Texas, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi, initially defied the Pentagon by refusing to allow National Guard facilities to issue the ID cards, triggering sharp criticism from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
Officials have worked to bring all the states on board.
Hagel said in an October speech that the states' refusal to comply had created hardship for couples by forcing them to travel long distances to federal military bases to get the ID cards.
Under Pentagon policy that took effect Sept. 3, same-sex military spouses are eligible for the same health care, housing and other benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex spouses.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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