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Texas, Mississippi Won't Honor Troops' Gay Marriage Benefits

Meanwhile, a new same-sex marriage battle brewing in New Mexico
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2013 4:09 PM CDT

(Newser) – Texas and Mississippi are defying a Defense Department directive (and a Supreme Court ruling) granting full benefits to troops in same-sex marriages, by denying those benefits to their respective national guards. In a statement yesterday, the commander of Texas' guard said that the federal rule violates Texas' "Family Code," and that it would therefore be "unable to enroll same-sex families … until we receive legal clarification," NPR reports. A Rick Perry spokesman said that Texas forces must obey state law.

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Mississippi, meanwhile, said that same-sex spouses could apply for benefits on federally-owned property, but not on Mississippi-owned ground. Mississippi and Texas both have constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. Things are getting interesting, meanwhile, in the one state where same-sex marriage isn't explicitly banned or allowed. In recent weeks, clerks in several New Mexico counties have independently issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Slate reports. Some Republican state legislators are vowing to fight the licenses in court—one called them "pure lawlessness"—while Democrats are rallying behind the rogue clerks. (Read more DOMA stories.)

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