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Hagel blasts states on same-sex benefits policy

October 31, 2013 • National News


FILE – In this Oct. 23, 2013 file photo, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks during a media conference after a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013 sharply criticized U.S. states that are defying the Pentagon by refusing to allow National Guard facilities to issue ID cards that enable same-sex spouses of military members to claim benefits. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday sharply criticized U.S. states that are defying the Pentagon by refusing to allow National Guard facilities to issue ID cards that enable same-sex spouses of military members to claim benefits.

“This is wrong,” Hagel said in a speech in New York.

“Not only does this violate the states’ obligation under federal law, their actions have created hardship and inequality by forcing couples to travel long distances to federal military bases to obtain the ID cards they’re entitled to,” he said.

Hagel said this is causing division among the military ranks.

In his remarks to an Anti-Defamation League centennial dinner speech, Hagel did not name the states that are defying Pentagon policy on this Login to read more

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