DOMA News: Federal Court Employee Lawsuit Update

This is not a tax issue per se, but the outcome of the case is of interest to anyone who follows issues related to gay marriage.

Lawyers for the U.S. House of Representatives say gays are not entitled to the same heightened legal protections as other minorities because “they are far from politically powerless and have ample ability to influence lawmakers.”  This is from a filing made in a U.S. District Court in San Francisco regarding a lawsuit filed by a federal employee.

The employee, Karen Golinski, brought the suit after the government denied health insurance coverage to her same-sex spouse.  Golinski is legally married to her partner in California.

The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, which says marriage, for all federal purposes, means one man, one woman, period.

The legal wrangling has begun.  The Washington Post, via the Associated Press, reports on the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group’s filing in the case:

(A)ttorneys representing the House’s Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group counter that DOMA is subject to a lower level of court scrutiny because gays and lesbians don’t meet the legal criteria for groups who receive heightened protection from discrimination. Under that lower standard, DOMA is constitutional, they argue.

You can find the full Washington Post article here.

You can find background information on the lawsuit from Lamda Legal here.