La. Guard to process same-sex benefits
BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana National Guard today announced plans to let same-sex couples in the Guard receive military benefits, despite a state constitutional ban on recognizing same-sex unions.
The deal with the Pentagon will process benefits through the U. S. Property and Fiscal Officer, and temporarily place same-sex Guard members in federal status to avoid conflicts with the state's constitution.
The Supreme Court ruled this summer the federal government must recognize all legal marriages, including same-sex marriages, to process federal benefits. The Defense Department directed the military in August to treat all legally married couples equally.
Georgia and Mississippi are the only states with constitutional bans barring same-sex marriage that haven't agreed to process military benefits in some way, instead requiring them to enroll at federal facilities. Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia, and Texas have all made changes to process same-sex military benefits.