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US: Lambda Legal sues Veterans Affairs to give unmarried gay couples benefits

Katie Dupere August 20, 2014

Lambda Legal has filed suit against the US Department of Veterans Affairs for not extending benefits to partners of veterans who live in states where same-sex marriage isn’t recognised.

In the suit filed Tuesday, Lambda Legal says the department is in violation of last year’s Supreme Court decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.

The suit, filed on behalf of the American Military Partner Association, names Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald as defendant.

The petition states: “Having weathered the federal government’s past, longstanding discrimination against them, lesbian and gay veterans and their families find themselves once again deprived of equal rights and earned benefits by the government they served and the nation for which they sacrificed.”

Almost a year ago, the Obama administration announced married same-sex spouses of veterans would be allowed to receive federal benefits currently only available to married straight couples.

In June, a House bill was introduced that would introduce LGBT representatives on the National Veterans Advisory Committee.

More: Americas, benefits, DOMA, lambda legal, lawsuit, military, same-sex marriage ban, unmarried, unwed, US, Veterans, veterans affairs

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