A homosexual activist group will be filing a lawsuit this month on behalf of gay, lesbian and bisexual military service members in legal same-sex marriages who want spousal benefits for their partners.
The legal move is evidence of a further chipping away of the Defense of Marriage Act and not unexpected, say supporters of the federal law.
The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network announced its plans over the weekend, according to CitizenLink, a Focus on the Family media outlet.
DOMA defines marriage as “a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife,” and the word “spouse” as “a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife” for the benefit of federal laws for items such as federal employee benefits.
Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of SLDN, explained to The Huffington Post that under DOMA, health care coverage and housing allowances – both of which can account for up to 40 percent of a service member’s compensation – are limited to heterosexual couples.
Many people weary of the push against DOMA had already expressed concern prior to the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," a policy that banned open homosexuality among service members. DADT was officially lifted last month. They feared that such a demand by gay activists, like asking for spousal benefits, would take place. The concerns brought before the U.S. Department of Defense have never been addressed, say DOMA supporters.
“Before DADT was repealed, many of us warned the goal was always to get rid of DOMA,” Douglas E. Lee, a founding member of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, was quoted by CitizenLink as saying. “The hints recently about gay literature, recruiting quotas, formal attempts to get rid of DOMA – all this was predicted. It certainly is not surprising. A dismissal of DOMA would open up the military, which is exactly what their intentions were, to all kinds of things. So it’s a very serious issue.”
Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Bob Maginnis says the timing of the lawsuit is the result of careful planning and not a coincidence, CitizenLink reported. Gay activists have been aiming to take down marriage all along, said Maginnis.
The lawsuit comes as the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to consider a bill next month to repeal the 1996 federal marriage law.