RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — While the Texas National Guard refuses to allow same-sex spouses to apply for federal benefits, the North Carolina National Guard has decided to begin recognizing same-sex marriages.
Lt. Col. Maury A. Williams said Monday the guard will abide by U.S. Department of Defense orders extending federal benefits to the same-sex spouses of uniformed service members.
Williams said couples who wed in states where same-sex marriage is legal could begin applying for benefits immediately.
The announcement comes a week after National Guard officials in Texas, Alabama and Louisiana announced they will refuse to follow the Pentagon’s policy.
The change comes two months after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal law forbidding recognition of same-sex unions. North Carolina voters approved a Constitutional amendment in 2012 limiting marriage to a man and a woman.
(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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