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Federal Judge Strikes Down Law Barring Same-Sex Veteran Benefits

Tracey and Maggie Cooper-Harris

A little over two weeks ago we told you about the Pentagon extending social security benefits to same-sex couples, even if they were just couples in states where their marriage was legal. Last week, we told you about the Alaska State Personnel Board changing the definition of 'family' to include same-sex couples, and early this week we informed you that the Texas Supreme Court will be hearing a case this November to determine if the state will recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages as legal. Today is California's turn.

Plaintiffs Tracey and Maggie Cooper-Harris brought their case before the California Supreme Court in February 2012, alleging that DOMA and the resulting denial of veteran benefits to same-sex couples were discriminatory and unconstitutional. On Thursday Judge Consuelo B. Marshall ruled that the definitions in Title 38 of the U.S. Code that limit provision of veterans’ benefits to opposite-sex couples have no rational basis. This is a major step forward for members of the armed forces in legal same-sex marriages as their husbands and wives are now entitled to all of the VA benefits and protections that are normally given to the spouses of heterosexual spouses. According to the Defense Department, same-sex couples can start receiving these benefits this Tuesday on September 3rd.

And the dominoes keep falling.

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Comments

  1. Another proud day for SSM couples, our amazing country, and our government! Proud to be in the US of A. And thank you, Mr. President, et al; we know you guys have been working tirelessly for nearly 8 years to make this country a better, fairer place for LGBT's. And wow did you deliver. This man and his husband Thank you.

    Posted by: dean | Sep 1, 2013 9:23:35 AM


  2. Another proud day for SSM couples, our amazing country, and our government! Proud to be in the US of A. And thank you, Mr. President, et al; we know you guys have been working tirelessly for nearly 8 years to make this country a better, fairer place for LGBT's. And wow did you deliver. This man and his husband Thank you.

    Posted by: dean | Sep 1, 2013 9:23:35 AM


  3. Thanks for the analogy of dominoes falling. It's perfect.

    Posted by: Mike in the tundra | Sep 1, 2013 9:42:56 AM


  4. Thanks Tracey and Maggie.

    Posted by: Robbie Horn | Sep 1, 2013 11:24:47 AM


  5. Actually it was the District FEDERAL court, but the larger fact you're leaving out is that last February that judge slapped down the Obama DOJ's claim that she had no jurisdiction but yet IN JULY they were still trying the same phony argument in the virtually identical case in Massachusetts brought by Karen Morgan, the WIDOW of Warrant Officer 2 Charlie Morgan, and several other veterans. How much in tax dollars has been spent trying to delay giving these veterans the benefits they earned as long as possible. In this case, all the couple is fighting for is $1,488 more A YEAR in disability payments for 12-yr. veteran Tracy Cooper-Harris's multiple sclerosis.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Sep 1, 2013 3:28:55 PM


  6. Good. One by one, all the stupid walls put up to prevent assimilation are all tumbling down...one by one. I am glad I have lived long enough to see events like this come to fruition. It is nice to see everyone enjoy the equality once known only to a few. Rock on.

    Posted by: millerbeach | Sep 2, 2013 5:11:48 AM


  7. I have just one thing to say about this, can the rest of the Federal Government work as fast as the DOJ? I mean it has seemed that everything we have given the DOJ to implement gets pushed through and in place in a matter of minutes. A ruling a few days ago gets implemented by Tuesday is an impressive feat. Other Agencies should follow their lead.

    Posted by: Joseph | Sep 2, 2013 6:23:28 AM


  8. The trick is keeping a straight face with what ever walks through the door.

    Posted by: Ben | Sep 2, 2013 4:23:37 PM


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