A judge in Los Angeles ruled Thursday that a lesbian Army veteran and her spouse should be entitled to disability benefits given the recent Supreme Court ruling that struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act.The VA policy of denying disability and survivor's benefits to same-sex couples has been a sore point of late, and Sens. Jeane Shaheen and Kirsten Gillibrand have introduced legislation to end the practice. While this District Court decision will no likely be appealed, it continues the trend of dismantling DOMA-era discrimination against LGBT families in the federal government. Just this week, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that same-sex couples in Medicare Advantage plans would be guaranteed the same end-of-life rights as other couples, and the IRS has announced it will treat same-sex couples as married regardless of their state of residence for federal tax purposes.
U.S. District Judge Consuelo Marshall said that a federal code defining a spouse as a person of the opposite sex is unconstitutional "under rational basis scrutiny" since the high court's decision allowing legally married gay couples the right to health care benefits.
Victories for LGBT rights are coming fast and furious this summer:
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