Federal Judicial Council Orders Married Gay Couple Reimbursed For Denial Of Marriage Benefits
Citing multiple court decisions declaring the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, the Judicial Council of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a lower federal court to reimburse a court employee’s husband for costs arising from the judiciary’s failure to provide the same-sex couple with equal benefits:
Christopher Nathan, 39, of San Francisco, a law clerk for U.S. Magistrate Maria Elena James, sought coverage for his spouse, Thomas Alexander, 40. The couple wed in 2008, in a ceremony performed by James, before Proposition 8 prohibited same-sex marriages in California.
When Nathan tried to enroll Alexander in the government’s insurance plan, he was turned down by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts because the 1996 law bars federal recognition of same-sex unions.