Texas National Guard holding back on military benefits

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The Texas National Guard is refusing to process requests for benefits submitted by same-sex couples because of the state constitution’s definition of marriage.

Pentagon officials say Texas is the only state they know of that is turning couples away. Sept. 3 was the first working day that gays in the military may apply for benefits.

Maj. Gen. John Nichols, the commanding general of Texas Military Forces, sent a letter saying that the Texas Constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

Nichols says that means his state agency cannot process applications for benefits from gay and lesbian couples. He recommends service members go to a federal installation to apply.

Florida, Michigan and Oklahoma also have bans on gay marriage, but their national guard units are accepting same-sex couples’ applications.

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