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Studds spouse denied U.S. death benefits because hes gay

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The Brethren Donating Member (853 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 12:22 PM
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Gay and Lesbian Times

First openly gay congress members death highlights DOMA ramifications


BOSTON, Mass. (AP) For the first time, the federal government is denying death benefits to the spouse of a congress member because he is gay.
Former Rep. Gerry Studds, D-Mass., who became the first openly gay member of Congress when his homosexuality was exposed during a teenage page sex scandal, died on Oct. 14. He was 69. In 2004, Studds married Dean Hara, 48, after same-sex marriage was legalized in Massachusetts.
Hara, unlike the spouses of other members of Congress who have died, wont be receiving any portion of Studds estimated annual $114,337 pension. The 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act blocks the federal government from recognizing the 2004 marriage between Studds and Hara.
Peter Graves, a spokesperson for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which administers the congressional pension program under federal law, said same-sex partners are not recognized as spouses for any marriage-related benefits.
He said Studds is the first case of its kind as far as the office could determine.
Our office could not think of a similar situation having occurred, he said.

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Janice325 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 12:32 PM
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1. It's a fucking shame.
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Siyahamba Donating Member (890 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 12:47 PM
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2. Just one of the many consequences of "leaving it up to the states."
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 07:20 PM
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3. All the people who think we're being too pushy
for wanting fully equal rights, without parsing semantics and accepting separate-but-equal civil unions, should read this. I hope it convinces them that they're full of shit.

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