President Barack Obama decided last week that the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law banning recognition of same-sex marriages, was unconstitutional and violated individuals' equal protection rights. But according to the ABA Journal, the revised policy following that decision might actually not be as extensive as many people were hoping it could be.
As some Chicago locals may have heard, the Department of Justice is supposedly going to reverse the previous decision it made on two cases from Boston and New York's Circuit Court of Appeals. However, The Associated Press reported that the DOJ will continue to oppose the claims of lesbian federal employee Karen Golinski, who seeks health insurance for her wife.
Golinski had filed a lawsuit against the Office of Personnel Management in San Francisco after they refused to add her wife to her family health coverage plans. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White had ordered the office to give permission to provide benefits for Golinski’s wife twice, but the Justice Department said that the rulings were not binding.
The DOJ contended that the judge’s decision had been made in his role as Golinski’s boss, not as an adjudicator.
Even though the Obama Administration will not defend the DOMA’s constitutionality in court, government lawyers said the administration would continue to enforce the law until Congress repeals it or a court strikes it down. According to Reuters, Karen Golinski’s attorney, Jennifer Pizer, said government lawyers would have been more consistent with Obama’s decision had they permitted Golinski’s wife to be included in her family health plan.
To learn more about your legal options in a case like this, find a knowledgeable Chicago family law attorney who can help protect your rights and determine the appropriate legal remedy for your case.