Gov. says Oklahoma won't process same-sex benefits

Oklahoman Published: November 6, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Mary Fallin says Oklahoma National Guard facilities and employees who are paid with state tax dollars won't process benefits for married, same-sex couples.

Fallin said Wednesday that same-sex benefits will instead be processed by federal employees at four National Guard facilities that are federally owned and at the state's five military bases.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last week ordered the National Guard to comply with federal rules that recognize same-sex benefits. But Fallin says the Oklahoma Constitution explicitly defines marriage as between a man and a woman and prohibits marriage benefits onto same sex couples.

Fallin says the decision allows the National Guard to obey Oklahoma law without violating federal rules or policies and protects the integrity of the state Constitution and its same-sex marriage guidelines.

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