Court Rules Veterans Affairs Must Give Benefits to Gay Spouses
A federal judge in California ruled on Friday that in light of the Supreme Court's DOMA ruling, a lesbian veteran and her spouse should be eligible for veteran benefits. Previously, the Department of Veterans Affairs denied plaintiff Tracey Cooper-Harris's request for additional money and benefits that married vets are eligible to receive. Cooper-Harris suffers from multiple sclerosis, and would have been receiving $124 more per month had she married a man.
Now, Cooper-Harris and her wife Maggie will get the additional benefits. U.S. District Judge Consuelo Marshall ruled that a federal code defining a spouse as a person of the opposite sex is unconstitutional. She wrote, "The court finds that the exclusion of spouses in same-sex marriages from veterans' benefits is not rationally related to the goal of gender equality."