Massachusetts Lawsuit Challenges Denial of Benefits for Same-Sex Couples in Federal Law
March 4, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
People marching in a snowy Chicago to show their support for repealing the Defense on Marriage Act (DOMA).
Photo Credit: Michael Lehet
Yesterday, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), a Boston-based legal rights group, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Boston, challenging a federal law that denies spousal benefits to same-sex married couples.
GLAD filed the lawsuit on behalf of 15 married and widowed same-sex couples who were married after Massachusetts granted same-sex couples the right in 2004.
The Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law passed in 1996, denies same-sex married couples federal benefits that opposite-sex married couples have, like Social Security benefits and tax deductions for couples who file their taxes jointly.
To date, same-sex marriages are only legal in Massachusetts and Connecticut; however, under DOMA, the federal government does not recognize them.
The case is likely to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.