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GLAD Files Complaint against DOMA in Connecticut District Court

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) files a suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut on behalf of seven citizens of Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire, arguing that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.  Several of the suit’s plaintiffs, the complaint alleges, have sought spousal protections provided by their employer, the federal government, and were denied services provided to heterosexual couples simply because they are gay or lesbian.  Joanne Pedersen, for example, the named plaintiff in the case, a retiree of the Navy’s Office of Naval Intelligence, was denied health insurance coverage for her spouse, Ann Meitzen.

DOMA, the complaint alleges, “burdens the plaintiffs’ familial relationships, including their ability to form, support and maintain their marriages and families” and “requires the plaintiffs to deny the existence of their families and the nature of their familial relationships.”  It forces them to misrepresent their marital status and describe themselves as ‘unmarried’ when asked by the federal government, even though they are considered married under the laws of their own states.

In the complaint, GLAD and the plaintiffs ask the district court to declare DOMA unconstitutional and compel the federal government to accept the benefit claims made by the plaintiffs and rejected on the grounds that they are not considered married by the U.S. government.

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