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Hagel blasts states over same-sex benefits policy

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WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday 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.

“This is wrong,” Hagel said in a speech in New York.

“Not only does this violate the states’ obligation under federal law, their actions have created hardship and inequality by forcing couples to travel long distances to federal military bases to obtain…

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