SC Guard processing same-sex couples' benefits

The South Carolina National Guard has issued one benefit card to a same-sex couple and is directing all benefit applications to federal offices for processing.

Adjutant Gen. Robert Livingston told The Greenville News that the Guard is moving the family benefit identification process from state to federal facilities. That's so the Guard doesn't conflict with state law that doesn't recognize same-sex marriage.

The general says the Guard is complying with a Department of Defense directive to provide benefits to same-sex couples in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

He says 98 percent of South Carolina National Guard employees are federal workers.

Livingston says eight Guard facilities are transferring the benefit identification process to five federal offices.