House GOP Gives Up Fight To Block Same-Sex Spouses From Receiving Military Benefits
What? House Republicans doing the right thing for once with regards to marriage equality?
In the wake of DOMA's strike down, plaintiffs in a similar case (McLaughlin vs. Panetta) that challenged the government's denial of military benefits to same-sex spouses of military veterans (in two statutes in Title 38 of the U.S. Code) filed a claim on Wednesday arguing that the DOMA ruling in the Edie Windsor case applied to their case as well.
Republican House leaders, who control the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) and who up until now have defended both DOMA and Title 38 in court, were given the option to continue offering a defense of Title 38 in response to the plaintiff's claim.
Apparently BLAG has decided to acknowledge that this is a losing battle and they've stated they'll no longer defend Title 38, based on the DOMA decision.
In a statement on Thursday, BLAG said
The Supreme Court recently resolved the issue of DOMA Section 3’s constitutionality. See United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. __ (2013), 2013 WL 3196928 (U.S. June 26, 2013). The Windsor decision necessarily resolves the issue of DOMA Section 3’s constitutionality in this case. While the question of whether 38 U.S.C. § 101(3), (31) is constitutional remains open, the House has determined, in light of the Supreme Court’s opinion in Windsor, that it no longer will defend that statute. Accordingly, the House now seeks leave to withdraw as a party defendant.
Good move! Nice to see the GOP won't be wasting our tax dollars on indefenseable legislation--and even better that military veterans and their same-sex partners will receive their well deserved benefits!