Federal judge: Denial of fed benefits to same-sex spouse is discriminatory

Basically a gay couple married in California before Prop 8 tried to enroll his husband in the federal health insurance plan and was denied because of DOMA.  The judge ruled that denying benefits based on sexual orientation and gender was discriminatory.  From the SF Chronicle:

On Tuesday, Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware said the denial of insurance benefits based on the sexual orientation and gender of Nathan’s spouse violated the federal court’s guarantee of a “discrimination-free workplace.”

Ware, acting as the administrator of the court’s employee dispute-resolution program, said he has no authority to force the courts’ national office to provide insurance coverage. Instead, he ordered the chief clerk of the San Francisco federal court to reimburse Nathan for the past and future costs of buying insurance for his husband.

The clerk, Richard Wieking, said Wednesday such orders by Ware and other judges pose a dilemma for court administrators, who must decide whether to follow their court’s antidiscrimination policies or legal directives from the national office requiring them to comply with the Defense of Marriage Act.


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