One Air Force Base Recognizes N.M. Marriages

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com September 11 2013 12:27 PM ET

Leaders at a New Mexico Air Force base will recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian airmen who legally wed in the state's handful of counties that have established legal marriage equality this summer.

The wife of a service member at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque was able to obtain an official spousal ID card on Tuesday. Courtney Schmeling was initially told she could not obtain a card despite her marriage to Senior Airman Natalie Throckmorton. In August, the couple were told their marriage would not be recognized by the U.S. military because it was officiated in New Mexico, and not a state with statewide marriage equality, Buzzfeed reports. A week later, an official notified the couple that the policy had been reversed.

According to Stephen Peters, president of the American Military Partner Association, the Department of Defense will recognize same-gender marriage licenses issued by jurisdictions within the state of New Mexico where marriage equality is has been legally established. So far, that change has seemingly only been recognized at Kirtland AFB, and Buzzfeed reports that the Pentagon has still not confirmed whether this will be the case at all military bases in New Mexico, where eight counties now have marriage equality.