TEXAS NATIONAL GUARD ACCEPTING SAME SEX BENEFITS

Officials with the Texas National Guard announced Tuesday they will immediately let same sex couples register for benefits, ending a highly publicized standoff with the Pentagon.

Five Texas Guard facilities had been off limits for couples to enroll their same sex spouses in the benefits program.

The decision means same sex couples in the Texas Guard can now obtain services ranging from access to base commissaries to medical care and housing allowances.  These benefits have always been available to heterosexual couples.

The decision leaves just two states—Georgia and Louisiana—continuing to hold out against an order issued a month ago by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. 

The Defense Department said it would issue benefits to same sex spouses of the military as well as civilian workers after the Supreme Court ruled that part of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. 

Gov. Rick Perry defied the Pentagon, saying Texas defines marriage as between a man and a woman.  Secretary Hagel made it clear that the Department of Defense would expected all 54 guard organizations to comply.