SF Judge: Lesbians Ineligible for Federal Health Benefits - NBC Bay Area

SF Judge: Lesbians Ineligible for Federal Health Benefits



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    Liz Faletti (left) and her partner of nine years Kathy Craig attend a rally against Proposition 8 in San Francisco.

    Despite supportive speeches by the Obama administration, LGBT couples around the country continue to languish in a bizarre Kafka-esque legal limbo, with their country refusing to provide equal protection while simultaneously admitting that it is unfair not to do so.

    There are no shortage of catch-22 situations for gay couples, from unfair taxes to forced deportations to adoption decisions that remove children from their loving LGBT adoptive parents. But the latest ongoing saga pits the country against its own employees.

    Karen Golinski has worked for the federal court system for decades, but the government refuses to allow her to extend her health benefits to cover her wife. The two women are legally married in California, but the Uniterd States Office of Personnel Management refuses to recognize the marriage.

    Golinski has pursued numerous legal avenues to protect her family. Just last month, President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder determined that the federal law preventing them from recognizing marriages is unconstitutional.

    But the law, known as the Defense of Marriage Act, is still on the books, and they're still required to enforce it.

    This week, a judge in San Francisco ruled that DOMA is "unfair," but he does not currently have the authority to rule on its constitutionality.

    But that may change soon. Golinski has until April 15 to revise her lawsuit and challenge DOMA directly. It may take a while, but DOMA could be headed for the scrap heap of history. Let's just cross our fingers that Golinski's wife and the thousands of spouses like her don't need any medical care before then.