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Studds’ spouse denied U.S. death benefits because he’s 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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Studds’ spouse denied U.S. death benefits because he’s gay
GLT
Gay and Lesbian Times


First openly gay congress member’s 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, won’t 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.



More: http://www.gaylesbiantimes.com/?id=8380
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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.
:cry:
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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
Response to Original message
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.
x(

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