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ND Guard offers military ID to same-sex spouses

North Dakota may not recognize gay marriage, but the North Dakota National Guard does, a spokeswoman said Friday.

Because the state receives federal funds for Guard units, it will process military identification for same-sex spouses of Guard members, said Billie Jo Lorius in response to a media inquiry.

Some Guard units in states that do not recognize gay marriage had been singled out by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel this past week in a speech before the Anti-Defamation League.

The Defense Department began issuing identity cards to the spouses in same-sex couples following a Supreme Court ruling this year that cleared the way for them to receive the same work-related benefits given to heterosexual couples.

“Several states are refusing to issue these IDs to same-sex spouses at National Guard facilities,” Hagel said. “Not onpy does this violate the states’ obligations under federal law, their actions have created hardship and inequality.”

The states named by Hagel are Indiana, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.

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Dustin Monke

Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He was a key part of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, and oversaw The Press' Sweepstakes and General Excellence wins in 2014, as well as its national first-place honors for Community Leadership in the Inland Daily Press Association and contributed to the first-place Inland award for Investigative Reporting. As the newspaper's editor, he writes an occasional Sunday column, is a member of The Press' Editorial Board, contributes feature stories and breaking news, designs pages, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and action movies, exercises whenever his schedule allows, and spends every minute he can with his wife and son.

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