Federal employee sued for same-sex spouse health benefits

On January 20, 2010, Karen Golinski filed a lawsuit against the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, seeking to add her same-sex spouse to her health insurance plan. Golinski has worked for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for 19 years and was married in 2008, when same-sex marriage was briefly allowed under California state law. A judge for the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit had ordered the Administrative Office of the US Courts (AO) and OPM to provide the benefits to Golinski's spouse in November 2009. However, both organizations refused and cited the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Subsequently Golinski filed suit to seek an injunction against the OPM. The legality of California's ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8, is currently being heard before the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Learn more about the laws governing same-sex marriage from the JURIST news archive, and read commentary on the issue from JURIST Guest Columnist Brian Raum in Hotline.


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