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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas National Guard is refusing to process requests from same-sex couples for benefits, and Mississippi won't issue applications from state-owned offices, because of the states' gay-marriage bans.

Tuesday is the first working day that gays in the military may apply for benefits after the Pentagon announced it would recognize same-sex marriages.

In Texas, gay and lesbian couples are being told to go to federal military bases to get ID cards and apply for health coverage. Mississippi officials say same-sex couples can apply on federally owned National Guard bases, but not on state property.

Both states cited their bans on gay marriage. But numerous other states that also ban gay marriage are following the Pentagon's directive.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry says the National Guard must follow the state's constitutional ban.

Published in National News
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A southern Missouri school district is ending a policy prohibiting same-sex couples from attending prom, a day after a national anti-discrimination group threatened to sue.

Scott County Central School District superintendent Alvin McFerren told The Associated Press Friday that the school board has agreed to revise a handbook policy that prohibits same-sex dates at school dances. McFerren says the policy was adopted 10-15 years ago because students were attending prom as couples simply to save money - the couples price was cheaper than the individual cost.

The Southern Poverty Law Center on Thursday threatened legal action on behalf of Stacy Dawson, a male student who wanted to attend prom with his boyfriend. McFerren says Dawson can attend the dance on April 20 with whomever he chooses.
Published in Local News
ST. LOUIS - AP - A small southeast Missouri school district is facing a threat of legal action over a policy barring same-sex couples from attending prom together.

The Southern Poverty Law Center on Thursday accused the Scott County Central School District in Sikeston of discrimination. Messages left with the district’s superintendent, Alvin McFerren, were not returned.

The district has just an elementary and a high school, serving a combined 330 students. The SPLC says a male student sought permission to bring his boyfriend to the prom on April 20, but was told district policy prohibits same-sex couples from attending school dances.

An SPLC attorney says the policy denies Dawson’s constitutional rights.
Published in Local News

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