Fed judge: Denying same-sex benefits discriminates

April 5, 2012 - 10:05 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge in San Francisco says the denial of insurance benefits to same-sex spouses is discriminatory.

The ruling Tuesday involves 38-year-old federal court law clerk Christopher Nathan and 39-year-old Thomas Alexander, who were married in 2008 when same-sex marriages were legal in California. Voters later approved Proposition 8, overturning the state Supreme Court ruling that had legalized same-sex marriages.

Nathan was turned down when he tried last year to enroll Alexander in the federal government's health insurance plan. A 1996 law bars federal recognition of same-sex unions.

The San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/Hioa2M) reports that Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware ruled that denial of insurance benefits based on the sexual orientation and gender of Nathan's spouse is discriminatory.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com