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

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.

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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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