Texas Guard refuses to process same-sex benefits

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - 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.

The American Military Partner Association gave a letter to The Associated Press on Tuesday that was written by Maj. Gen. John Nichols, the commanding general of Texas Military Forces.

Nichols writes that the Texas Constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman, so his state agency cannot process applications for benefits from gay and lesbian couples. He recommends service members go to a federal installation to apply.

Nichols says he must order his forces not to accept benefit applications because there's a conflict between Department of Defense policy and Texas law.

Tuesday is the first working day gays in the military may apply for benefits.

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