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Forum News Service, Published November 01 2013

ND Guard offers military ID to same-sex spouses

GRAND FORKS – North Dakota may not recognize gay marriage, but the North Dakota National Guard does, a spokeswoman said Friday.

Because the state receives federal funds for Guard units, it will process military identification for same-sex spouses of Guard members, said Billie Jo Lorius in response to a media inquiry.

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

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.

“Several states are refusing to issue these IDs to same-sex spouses at National Guard facilities,” Hagel said. “Not only does this violate the states’ obligations under federal law, their actions have created hardship and inequality.”

The states named by Hagel are Indiana, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.