Air Force Base In New Mexico Is Accepting Same-Sex Marriage Certificates
New Mexico's approach to marriage equality might be pretty scattered for now, but at least one federal facility has decided that the county-by-county strategy is good enough for it to recognize the legal unions of loving same-sex couples.
Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque has decided to offer the newly-minted military spousal benefits for same-sex couples despite marriage equality not being the law of the land in New Mexico.
A letter sent from the American Military Partners Association to Buzzfeed confirms Kirtland's big news:
Effective Sept. 3, the Secretary of Defense announced that all military departments will extend benefits to same-sex spouses of military members and retirees. On Sept. 5, military members and their same-sex spouses came into the 377th Force Support Squadron at Kirtland Air Force Base with marriage certificates issued in New Mexico. Because civil authorities in New Mexico have only recently begun to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the guidance in hand for Department of Defense identification cards didn’t address jurisdictions in New Mexico. The issue of those ID cards was delayed while Air Force officials sought clarification.
Based on information received Sept. 6 from Headquarters Air Force Personnel Center on jurisdictions not covered in previous guidance, officials at Kirtland are issuing dependent ID cards to same-sex spouses of military members and retirees with valid marriage certificates from jurisdictions within New Mexico.