Wisconsin National Guard Processing Same-Sex Benefits

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin National Guard has received its first request from a same-sex couple seeking benefits.

Tuesday was the first working day that gays in the military could apply for benefits.

Maj. Paul Rickert of the Wisconsin National Guard says one request had come in so far, and the Guard is processing it in full compliance with the Pentagon's new rules.

That's in contrast to what's happening in Texas and Mississippi. The Texas National Guard refused to process requests from same-sex couples for benefits, while Mississippi won't issue applications from state-owned offices. Both states cited their respective bans on gay marriage.

Wisconsin banned gay marriage in a constitutional amendment passed in 2006 but the state has a domestic partner registry that grants a host of legal rights to same-sex couples.


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