DOMA Key Provision Struck Down
California: California federal judge, Jeff White struck down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act on February 22nd, 2012 as it applied to a federal employee who pursued benefits for her same-sex spouse.
This, of course, is not the first time a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act has been struck down, but it is the first of rulings to come after it was determined by the Obama administration that it would no longer be defending the federal law that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.
Republican leadership of the United States House of Representatives have hired lawyers to defend the federal law that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.
Federal employee Karen Golinski, married to her same-sex spouse under the California law, brought forward the suit after she was unable to obtain her federal health benefits for her spouse. Northern District of California Judge Jeff White ruled in favor of Golinski, saying that, “In this matter, the court finds that DOMA, as applied to Ms. Golinski, violates her right to equal protection of the law under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution by, without substantial justification or rational basis, refusing to recognize her lawful marriage to prevent provision of health insurance coverage to her spouse.”
The Lambda Legal Defense Fund represented Karen Golinski and was very happy with the ruling, saying, "“This is a grand slam for us. Judge White agreed that sexual orientation discrimination should be given heightened judicial scrutiny and there is not even a rational justification for DOMA’s discrimination. Courts should regard with suspicion government discrimination based on sexual orientation.”
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