Lambda Legal has filed suit against the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on behalf of the American Military Partner Association, an advocacy organization dedicated to supporting partners and spouses of LGBT troops and veterans.
Lambda argues that the denial of benefits to same-sex spouses of veterans living in states that refuse to recognize their marriages violates the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
The petition argues that the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor striking down Section 3 of DOMA specifically flagged as unconstitutional the deprivation of veterans benefits to same-sex spouses.
The petition further states:
“Having weathered the federal government’s past, longstanding discrimination against them, lesbian and gay veterans and their families find themselves once again deprived of equal rights and earned benefits by the government they served and the nation for which they sacrificed.”
Susan Sommer, Director of Constitutional Litigation at Lambda Legal, said:
“Gay and lesbian veterans have served their country and risked the ultimate sacrifice to fulfill their duty to this nation. Married veterans and their spouses, wherever they live, need critical veterans benefits, earned through years of often perilous service, to take care of their families. No member of our community should be left behind just because their home state continues to discriminate against their marriage.”
Read the petition HERE.