North Dakota

N.D. National Guard to issue military IDs for same-sex spouses


GRAND FORKS, N.D. — The North Dakota National Guard says it will issue military identification for same-sex couples.

Guard spokeswoman Billie Jo Lorius tells the Grand Forks Herald the move was made because the North Dakota gets federal funding for Guard units.

ND-National-GuardSome Guard units in states that do not recognize gay marriage had been singled out by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in a speech before the Anti-Defamation League.

Hagel said that the states were violating federal law and creating an unequal “hardship” for the couples.

The Defense Department began issuing identity cards to the spouses in same-sex couples following a Supreme Court ruling this year that cleared the way for them to receive the same work-related benefits given to heterosexual couples.

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.

Several conservative-leaning states had declared they would not issue benefits cards for same-sex couples at National Guard facilities because of conflicts with state laws that prohibit same-sex marriage.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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