Federal judge calls DOMA, Oregon’s Measure 36 unconstitutional

Pregerson

Judge Harry, left, and Bernardine Pregerson (David Crane/Staff Photographer/LA Daily News)

BY ZACK FORD
ThinkProgress

A federal judge has ruled that an Oregon public defender, Alison Clark, is entitled to health benefits for her same-sex spouse under the Federal Employees Health Care Benefits. Judge Harry Pregerson ruled that the denial of benefits was a violation of the Employment Dispute Resolution Plan’s nondiscrimination protections, arguing that both the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage (Measure 36) are unconstitutional. Clark’s marriage, he concluded, should be recognized under both state and federal law.

Pregerson ruled that the United States Court must submit Clark’s request to the appropriate health insurance carrier to provide benefits for her wife, and provide the same to any future same-sex couples who apply. If the Office of Personnel Management blocks this, he also ruled that Clark should then be granted monetary relief, including “back pay and associated benefits.”

Read more at ThinkProgress.org

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