Gay Troops and Vets to Challenge DOMA in Federal Court
Gay and lesbian service members and veterans are filing suit today to challenge the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the same federal court that recently ruled it unconstitutional for interfering with a state's rights to define marriage, the Washington Post reports:
The suit also challenges provisions of federal code regarding spouses that lawyers said bar gay couples from accessing benefits provided by the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Those benefits include military identification cards, access to bases, recreational programs, spousal support groups and burial rights at national cemeteries.
The suit was spearheaded by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and its lead plaintiffs are Massachusetts Army National Guard Maj. Shannon McLaughlin, 41, and her wife, Casey, 34. According to the paper, five other troops and two veterans are also involved.
Said Sarvis to the WaPo: "What Shannon and Casey are seeking is the same treatment that their straight counterparts, who are legally married, receive every day without question and take for granted."
A Supreme Court decision on DOMA is not expected until 2013.