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National Guard sites to take same-sex benefit form - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

National Guard sites to take same-sex benefit form

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BATON ROUGE, La. -

 Louisiana National Guard personnel seeking benefits for same-sex spouses will have an easier time filing the requests, despite a state refusal to let its workers process the paperwork.

   The change hinges on the status of employees handling the same-sex benefit requests.

   National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Kazmierzak said Thursday that the U.S. officer who oversees federal property for the state National Guard will move some workers to federal status -- so federal employees will handle the enrollments.

   The move will keep state employees from violating Louisiana's ban on gay marriage. But it also puts Louisiana in line with a Pentagon directive authorizing the same-sex benefits.

   Previously, the Louisiana National Guard had been requiring same-sex couples to file the benefits paperwork with federal military installations around the state for processing.

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