Main | Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gay Troops Sue Over DOMA

Today the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network will file a suit against DOMA on behalf of gay active duty soldiers. The lead plaintiffs include Massachusetts Army National Guard Maj. Shannon McLaughlin and her wife, Casey.
Lawyers plan to sue in federal district court in Boston, the same court that ruled last year that the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it interferes with a state’s right to define marriage. That decision is being appealed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit. The 1996 law bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages performed in states that allow them. The suit also challenges provisions of federal code regarding spouses that lawyers said bar gay couples from accessing benefits provided by the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Those benefits include military identification cards, access to bases, recreational programs, spousal support groups and burial rights at national cemeteries.
The above-linked story notes that dozens of DOMA suits are presently working their way through the courts, but a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is not expected until 2013.

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