BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana National Guard won't process requests from same-sex couples seeking benefits, joining Texas in the refusal because of the states' bans on gay marriage.

National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Kazmierzak said Maj. Gen. Glenn Curtis, the state's adjutant general, issued the directive Wednesday.

Kazmierzak cited the state's constitution.

"The state of Louisiana's constitution does not recognize same sex marriage, nor does it allow a state official to take part in an act that recognizes same sex marriage," he said.

Approved by lawmakers and voters in 2004, the state constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman and declares a legal status of marriage for any other couples "shall not be valid or recognized."

Kazmierzak said the Louisiana National Guard isn't denying same-sex benefits. He said guard personnel can seek to file benefit requests with eight federal military installations around the state for processing.

He said he didn't know if any guard employees had sought to file for the benefits in Louisiana so far.

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