SHARECOMMENTMORE

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The Florida National Guard will nowprovide same-sex benefits.

Enrollment into the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System begins Nov. 5. and it can be done at any Florida National Guard facility responsible for initial benefits enrollment.

According to a Fla. National Guard press release, the agency is in in "full compliance" with federal and state statutes and governing policies.

On Oct. 31, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel criticized U.S. states that did not comply with the policy saying "Not only does this violate the states' obligation under federal law, their actions have created hardship and inequality by forcing couples to travel long distances to federal military bases to obtain the ID cards they're entitled to."

Hagel did not name the states, but the following states were reported not in compliance at the time: Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.

The Pentagon policy took effect Sept. 3, giving same-sex spouses of military members eligibility for the same health care, housing and other benefits that opposite-sex spouses receive.