HRC Blog

Lambda Legal Files Suit Against Secretary of Veterans Affairs

VeternLast week, Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit against the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on behalf of the American Military Partner Association, the nation's largest resource and support network for LGBT military partners, spouses, their families and allies. 

Lambda Legal, along with Morrison and Foerster LLP, claims that states which refuse to recognize the marriages of same-sex veterans are violating the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2012 decision to strike down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Susan Sommer, Director of Constitutional Litigation at Lambda Legal, said in a statement, “Gay and lesbian veterans have served their country and risked the ultimate sacrifice to fulfill their duty to this nation. Married veterans and their spouses, wherever they live, need critical veterans benefits, earned through years of often perilous service, to take care of their families. No member of our community should be left behind just because their home state continues to discriminate against their marriage.”

The 2013 Supreme Court decision in US v. Windsor mandated changes in how the United States government treats the relationships of married same-sex couples in regards to federal benefits and programs. However, as Susan Sommer indicates, there remains progress to be made and rights to be granted. 

To learn about the marriage equality landscape in your state, click here.

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