Lesbian Couple’s Fight For Benefits Could Lead To Overturning Defense Of Marriage Act
Karen Golinski applied to add her spouse, to her health care plan, which would save the couple thousands of dollars a year.
Because Golinski is married to another woman and works for the U.S. government, her claim for benefits has morphed into a multi-layered legal challenge to a 1996 law that prohibits the federal government from recognizing unions like hers.
The high court has scheduled a closed-door conference for Friday to review Golinski’s case and four others that also seek to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act overwhelmingly approved by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton.
The purpose of the meeting is to decide which, if any, to put on the court’s schedule for arguments next year.
The outcome carries economic and social consequences for gay, lesbian and bisexual couples, who now are unable to access Social Security survivor benefits, file joint income taxes, inherit a deceased spouse’s pension or obtain family health insurance.