Karen Golinski, a federal employee, has
won health-care coverage for her wife, Amy Cunninghis.
Gay rights advocates believe this is
the first time the federal government has extended such benefits to a
gay worker, The
Washington Post reported.
In a March 9 letter to Blue Cross Blue
Shield, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) said that “OPM
hereby withdraws any outstanding
directive regarding the enrollment of Ms. Golinski's wife, Amy C.
Cunninghis, in her family health benefits plans.” The letter was
signed by Shirley Patterson, assistant director of federal employees
insurance operations for OPM.
OPM previously argued that the Defense
of Marriage Act (DOMA) blocked such coverage.
In February, U.S. District Judge
Jeffrey S. White found Section 3 of DOMA, which bars the federal
government from recognizing the legal marriages of gay couples, in
violation of the equal protection rights of such couples.
“We're thrilled for Karen and Amy,
who have been waiting for years for this equal treatment,” Tara
Borelli, a lawyer with Lambda Legal, which represents Golinski, told
While House Republicans have appealed
the decision, they have yet to request a stay in White's ruling
pending the appeal.
sides criticize John Boehner over defense of gay marriage ban DOMA.)