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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.

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Missouri National Guard handling IDs for gay spouses

The Missouri National Guard is processing requests from same-sex partners for military ID cards that are the gateway to accessing benefits. A Pentagon policy taking effect in early September makes same-sex spouses of gay military members eligible for health care and other benefits that also are available to opposite-sex partners.

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