Federal judge rules denying insurance based on sexual orientation is discriminatory

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a federal judge ruled that denying insurance benefits to same-sex spouses is discriminatory on Tuesday.

The case arose when Christopher Nathan, a law clerk for U.S. magistrate Maria Elena James, 38, tried to enroll his husband, Thomas Alexander, 39, in the federal government’s health insurance plan. Nathan and Alexander were married in 2008 when same-sex marriage was legal in California. However, a year later voters approved Prop 8, overturning the legality of same-sex marriage. When Nathan tried to enroll his husband in the insurance plan, he was turned down by the Administration Office of the U.S. Courts because the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) bars federal recognition of same-sex unions.

And while Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware ruled that discriminating against someone based on their sexual orientation or gender violates the federal court’s guarantee of a “discrimination-free workplace,” he has no authority to force the court’s national office to provide insurance, according to the article. That will happen if, and when, the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the issue of same-sex marriage.

But until then, this issue poses a problem for court administrators, who must decided whether to follow the federal ruling that does not recognize same-sex marriage or the federal anti-discrimination policies.

Ware decided to follow the anti-discrimination policies and “ordered the chief clerk of the San Francisco federal court to reimburse Nathan for the past and future costs of buying insurance for his husband,” according to the article.


Related article: ABC News






About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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One Response to Federal judge rules denying insurance based on sexual orientation is discriminatory

  1. Pingback: Gay Men Are Bad Drivers And Therefore Pay More For Car Insurance | 4autoinsurancequote

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