Another Judge Takes A Swipe At DOMA, Rules For Same-Sex Couples In Pedersen v. OPM

A U.S. District Court in Connecticut ruled that DOMA is unconstitutional today because it violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee to equal protection under the law.

Judge Vanessa L. Bryant, a Bush Jr. appointee, ruled in favor of six married same-sex couples and one widower in Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management. The plaintiffs—who reside in marriage-equality states Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont—were denied federal tax, social security, pension and family medical leave protections afforded to married heterosexuals.

“Judge Bryant’s ruling is very clear: married people are married and should be treated as such by the federal government. There is no legitimate basis for DOMA’s broad disrespect of the marriages of same-sex couples” says Mary L. Bonauto, Civil Rights Project Director for GLAD, which brought suit on behalf of the claimants. “We are very pleased that the Court recognized that DOMA’s creation of second-class marriages harms our clients who simply seek the same opportunities to care and provide for each other and for their children that other families enjoy.”

Plaintiff Joanne Pedersen (above, with wife Ann Meitzen) said she was “thrilled” about the ruling: “I loved working for the Navy for many years, and now that I am retired I now just want to care for my wife and make sure we can enjoy some happy and healthy years together. DOMA has prevented us from doing that.”

It’s not time for celebration just yet, though, as an appeal is all but guaranteed. But in a definite sense this is a good thing for both sides: Traditional-marriage advocates and marriage-equality supporters alike—not to mention the Obama Administration—are looking to the Supreme Court to settle the matter.



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  • Sceth

    Like, ermahgerd! Judicial Independence! Stop it!

  • jeff4justice

    Another Republican appointees strikes down LGBT discrimination.

    But the Obama apologists who insist we not vote for better liberal alternative parties keep insisting the election is a battle for the courts – even though Democrats helped vote in SCOTUS judges Alito and Roberts.

    No 2party system charade for me thanks.

  • chuck

    Democrats tend to negotiate from a centrist’s viewpoint. The GOP starts from the farthest right. The result is always a shift more to the right. I belong to a government union…the union negotiators start out in the middle…the administration starts out with a totally anti-union proposal. The ‘compromise’ always comes out much more on the administration’s side. Which is why we now have Alito and Roberts in SCOTUS.

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