Ga. National Guard to process same-sex benefits

Ga. National Guard to process same-sex benefits

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ATLANTA (AP) - The Georgia National Guard will be able to assist members seeking benefits for same-sex spouses under changes announced Monday.

Lt Col. Thomas Lesnieski with the Georgia National Guard says applications for the military ID cards that allow access for health care and benefits will be processed at Fort Benning and the Clay National Guard Center in Marietta by employees being paid with federal funds.

This process was on hold after the state objected to the Pentagon policy, citing Georgia's constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

In recent months, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had chastised states not issuing the ID cards, saying it was causing division among troops.

Georgia has about 12,000 soldiers in the Army National Guard and 2,300 in the Air National Guard.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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