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The Scoop

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Verbatim: Indiana National Guard processes same-sex benefits

The Indiana National Guard issued this news release today:

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana National Guard does not violate federal law and has not refused same-sex benefits to Indiana National Guardsmen. However, there was delay of one month.

"The Indiana National Guard started processing same-sex benefits on Oct. 3. The delay in processing benefits was due to the Indiana National Guard conferring with the Indiana attorney general's office in order to understand the impact of these new benefits on state-active duty, where state funds are used to pay service members" said Lt. Col. Cathleen Van Bree, spokesperson for the Indiana National Guard.

"The decision was never made to not process benefits, rather the

decision was delayed in order to fully understand the impacts while

service members serve in different pay categories," she said. "The

National Guard has a dual mission as we respond to both state and

federal missions."

The Indiana National Guard welcomes diversity in its ranks.

In August, Indiana's adjutant general, Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger,

wrote in his quarterly message to the troops mentioning diversity

throughout the Indiana National Guard.

"With the repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell,' we can now be a diverse in regards to sexual orientation," wrote Umbarger. This diversity is a

necessity and makes us stronger. The sum is greater than our individual parts. Our mission success depends on the diversity of the Indiana National Guard throughout our ranks and our employees."

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