The DOD twice notified all National Guard locations that they needed to issue ID cards to same-sex spouses, the DOD official said. The first notification was sent June 27, the day after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. The second was sent Aug. 15.
ID cards were supposed to be available at all processing stations beginning Sept. 3.
In striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples who are legally married in their states are entitled to federal benefits, like military family benefits, the same as other married couples.
The four federal facilities in West Virginia that are granting ID cards to same-sex spouses are in Charleston, Martinsburg (where there are two) and Sugar Grove. They have processed one application for an ID for a same-sex spouse since Sept. 3, said Lt. Col. Melissa Shade, a Guard spokeswoman.
Shade said the 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg processed the ID, but she did not know the date it was processed.
Messina said there have been two other inquiries from service members about ID cards.
One service member at the 130th Airlift Wing in Charleston, also a federally run facility, was not given an ID card, but that was because his or her spouse was not present at the time, as is required.
A service member in the Northern Panhandle was directed to a military base in Pittsburgh for help.
In his speech, Hagel said he was directing the chief of the National Guard Bureau, Gen. James Grass, to meet with adjutant generals from each state where ID cards are being denied.
Grass spoke with Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, adjutant general of the West Virginia National Guard, Friday afternoon. They talked about the situation in West Virginia, but Messina did not know the outcome of the conversation.
Reach David Gutman at david.gut...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5119.