A federal judge in San Francisco says the U.S. government cannot deny health benefits to the wife of lesbian court employee by relying on the 1996 law that bars government recognition of same-sex unions.
U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White ruled Wednesday that because the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally discriminates against same-sex married couples, the government's refusal to furnish health insurance to Karen Golinski's wife is unjustified.
The Department of Justice originally opposed Golinski in her lawsuit against the Office of Personnel Management, but changed course last year after President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder said they would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act.
When White heard the case in December, a lawyer hired by the House of Representatives argued that the act does not violate the civil rights of federal workers with same-sex spouses.
Copyright Associated Press