Gay Couple Wins Small Victory Against DOMA in San Francisco
San Francisco’s Judicial Council of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the city’s federal court to pay for the insurance coverage of a government employee’s partner.
Christopher Nathan, a law clerk for U.S. Magistrate Maria Elena James, had been denied coverage for his husband under the government insurance plan because of the Defense of Marriage Act, the according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
DOMA is a 1996 law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, thus depriving gay couples of the rights and privileges granted to heterosexual couples, like filing tax returns together and maintaining estate rights after widowing.
“In April, Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware said the denial violated the federal court’s rules against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender, and ordered the court to reimburse Nathan for the costs of buying private insurance,” reports the Chronicle.
“The Judicial Council, the final authority in the administrative review process, went a step further in this week’s order and said DOMA has been held unconstitutional by a San Francisco federal judge in another employee’s case.”
The panel ordered to court to pay Nathan within 10 days.
The U.S Supreme Court will decide whether or not to hear several cases challenging DOMA on Nov. 30.