Federal workers win benefits for same-sex spouses in 9th Circuit Court ruling.

The ABA Journal reports, “Two federal judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have required payment of health insurance benefits to same-sex spouses of lawyers employed by the U.S. government.” Judge Stephen Reinhardt declared that the federal Defense of Marriage Act — which denies federal recognize of same-sex marriages — is unconstitutional. From Reinhardt’s Feb. 2 order:

The denial of federal benefits to same-sex spouses cannot be justified simply by a distaste for or disapproval of same-sex marriage or a desire to deprive same-sex spouses benefits available to other spouses in order to discourage exercising a legal right afforded them by the state.

A lawyer for the federal staff attorney “said this is believed to be the first time federal employees will get benefits covering a same-sex spouse.”