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Ind. National Guard says it’s processing benefits for same-sex couples

Friday, November 1, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana National Guard announced Friday that it’s been processing benefits for same-sex couples since the start of October, after U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel issued a warning to states that have been denying the benefits.

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Members of the Indiana National Guard Honor Guard.

A National Guard spokeswoman said Indiana delayed processing benefits for a month while consulting with the attorney general’s office, but never denied benefits nor broke federal law.

The U.S. Supreme Court this summer issued a ruling that found the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

President Barack Obama quickly ordered that all federal employees in same-sex partnerships be granted federal benefits.

“This diversity is a necessity and makes us stronger. The sum is greater than our individual parts. Our mission success depends on the diversity of the Indiana National Guard throughout our ranks and our employees,” said Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, leader of the state National Guard.

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The American Military Partner Association, a group representing gay and lesbian members of the military, has spent the past few months documenting states that have been denying federal benefits to same sex couples.

Some conservative-leaning states, including Texas, had declared they would not issue benefits cards for same sex couples at National Guard facilities because of conflicts with state law.

Couples could still go to federal bases to apply for benefits and receive their identification cards.

But Hagel said Thursday, in a speech before the Anti-Defamation League, that the states were violating federal law and creating an unequal “hardship” for the couples.

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16 more reader comments:

  1. Gee, why am I not surprised…. Odd how the threat of the Federal Government saying that they would consider taking over the Indiana State National Guard in order to get the Guard to obey the laws makes that same Guard Unit agree to obey the laws…

    Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 12:06am
  2. now if they’d get on board with other issues related to this…

    Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 12:10am
  3. Actually, a couple weeks ago, they changed their policy and started complying.

    Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 12:28am
  4. Wow Indiana National Guard, how does it feel to know that you’ve been publicly shamed for you nasty bigotry and have now officially been threatened with punishment in order to make you FOLLOW THE LAW!?!

    Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 12:51am
  5. if they do that would be so awesome

    Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 1:27am
  6. Another step in the right direction for those whom serve their country regardless of what their sexual orientation is. Married in the military to a same sex person they deserve all the rights & protections as do the straight married members.

    Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 2:04am
  7. It is interesting to note as well that the vast majority of politicians who oppose this have never served their country in this way.

    Replied on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 2:57pm
  8. Never served their nation PERIOD.

    Replied on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 4:19pm
  9. Indiana better get with the program and that includes ACA and Medicaid!

    Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 3:04am
  10. Dó you believe in Jesus and angels wish us All a beutifull Day in joy and the most lovely light bless love and light

    Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 7:17am
  11. yes, and while your at it, reject the proposed ballot measure to BAN same-sex marriage FURTHER…

    Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 12:00pm
  12. Thank you for following the law.

    Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 2:37pm
  13. Must be nice.

    Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 3:01pm
  14. yes AFTER being basivcally forced to

    Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 8:22pm
  15. awesome

    Posted on Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 4:43am
  16. ID card, dependent card… whatever, you’re all getting hung up on semantics. The fact is, the cards (whatever you want to call them) are being issued to legally married heterosexual spouses, and denied to legally married same-sex spouses in at least eight states: Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.

    Posted on Monday, November 4, 2013 at 2:57am