Judge orders VA to provide benefits to veterans in same-sex marriages

posted at 8:41 am on August 30, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

All things considered, this was probably inevitable.

The Department of Veterans Affairs can no longer rely on its unique reading of federal law to refuse to provide full benefits to a California veteran in a same-sex marriage, a federal judge declared in a ruling filed late Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Consuelo Marshall of Los Angeles sided with Tracey Cooper-Harris of Pasadena, Calif., a 12-year Army veteran, who sued the VA for denying her full disability benefits because she is married to a woman.

The VA is the defendant in several lawsuits over its assertion that the Supreme Court’s decision in June striking down the Defense of Marriage Act didn’t apply to it.

The “unique reading of federal laws” in question here seems to boil down to the labyrinth of government regulations underlying top level decisions, not all of which are immediately updated when some huge redefinition takes place. Title 38 of the federal code deals with benefits to veterans, spouses, dependents, etc and has long included the definition of “spouse” as being a “person of the opposite sex.” Even though the decision in Windsor v US ran directly afoul of that, the regulations were still on the books and the VA was basing their rulings on them.

Rather than some sort of ideological battle between politically motivated combatants, it looks as if this was just a case of the military community doing what they always do… follow the regulations. This idea is supported by a previous comment on the subject by the department’s Secretary, Eric Shinseki.

“Should the … spousal definitions be revised or determined to be unconstitutional, VA will be prepared to update its policies and systems in a timely manner,” Shinseki wrote Aug. 14.

The judge was apparently not going to be content to wait around for the regulations to be rewritten, and has ordered the VA to take action – at least in this one case – immediately. Don’t be surprised, however, if that regulation gets updated pretty quickly now that this story has hit the press.


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Obama. In less than 5 years our social & moral fabric is unravelling @ warp speed.

RdLake on August 30, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Coming soon:

Judges order every church in America to marry same sex couples,

Judges order a “gay curriculum” for every Public School
in America,

Judges order every Store in America to sell “gay merchandise”,

Am I being sarcastic??

Maybe.

ToddPA on August 30, 2013 at 8:47 AM

Yepper Todd

cmsinaz on August 30, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Am I being sarcastic??

Maybe.

ToddPA on August 30, 2013 at 8:47 AM

BREAKING:

Judge orders all Americans to accept homosexuality; failure to comply is a Class 1 felony.

BobMbx on August 30, 2013 at 8:56 AM

BREAKING:

Judge orders all Americans to accept homosexuality; failure to comply is a Class 1 felony.

BobMbx on August 30, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Isn’t that already covered by the so call hate laws already?

Dr. Frank Enstine on August 30, 2013 at 9:03 AM

I just had to sit through “Sexual Assault Prevention” training. While it was mostly skewed in the normal way (women are always the helpless victims and males are always creepy perverts), there was one scenerio that was deliberately ambiguous. We were told that the victim and assailant could be male-female or same sex and asked how that would make a difference.

Welcome to the new America. Obama’s America. God how I hate that filthy lazy thin-skinned bastard.

Happy Nomad on August 30, 2013 at 9:05 AM

BREAKING:

Judge orders all American toddlers to attend Pride Week events. Rationale: conduct can’t be separated from orientation, therefor it’s a hate crime if you do not attend Pride Week.

p0s3r on August 30, 2013 at 9:05 AM

And the IRS has announced that homosexuals who are legally married can now file jointly and receive marriage tax benefits. Time to push for an end to marital status discrimination?

Syzygy on August 30, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Judges order every church in America to marry same sex couples,

ToddPA on August 30, 2013 at 8:47 AM

The minute my denomination caves on this issue is the minute I leave organized religion. My relationship with God isn’t predicated on sodomites feeling good about their relationship and forcing me to accept it as normal.

Happy Nomad on August 30, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Well, it takes 18 to 24 months to get into a VA hospital for treatment and the treatments are usually substandard, so, go for it and enjoy the wait. No butting in line, now!

ExpressoBold on August 30, 2013 at 9:11 AM

And the IRS has announced that homosexuals who are legally married can now file jointly and receive marriage tax benefits. Time to push for an end to marital status discrimination?

Syzygy on August 30, 2013 at 9:06 AM

What I don’t get is why people that are simply shacked up can’t get the same benefit. Now that sodomites can get the break, why not everybody in a “untraditional” relationship?

Happy Nomad on August 30, 2013 at 9:11 AM

What I don’t get is why people that are simply shacked up can’t get the same benefit. Now that sodomites can get the break, why not everybody in a “untraditional” relationship?

Happy Nomad on August 30, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Gosh you are making it sound like they are trying to remove any historical meaning of marriage.

Murphy9 on August 30, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Forward!

The new “no morality” morality is calling America! Those of you that don’t accept this new definition of tolerance will be labeled by the media as intolerant.

Today, we label you, but in a few years those that go a step further and physically rid this country of the Christian filth will be doing a greater good.

And so the radical homosexual agenda moves forward.

PappyD61 on August 30, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Obama. In less than 5 years our social & moral fabric is unravelling @ warp speed.

RdLake on August 30, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Um, would a country with good social and moral fabric have ever voted for Obama?

astonerii on August 30, 2013 at 9:16 AM

What I don’t get is why people that are simply shacked up can’t get the same benefit. Now that sodomites can get the break, why not everybody in a “untraditional” relationship?

Happy Nomad on August 30, 2013 at 9:11 AM

They can, its called getting married…..

libfreeordie on August 30, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Marriage=one man+one woman. Period.

I

annoyinglittletwerp on August 30, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Democrats/Progressives want to sexualize your kindergärtner too.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Some people may think a five-year old is too young for sex education.

Administrators with Chicago Public schools do not.

New to the curriculum this year, mandatory sexual and health education for kindergarten classes.

Murphy9 on August 30, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Sodomerica!

It’s like that place on the Dead Sea from a really long time ago, but with glittery phone cases and Instagram.

#mileybringingitforward

#afewmoresteps

#wecallindashots

PappyD61 on August 30, 2013 at 9:18 AM

libfreeordie on August 30, 2013 at 9:17 AM

No that can’t. Civil unions give the same rights as marriage.-w/ out destroying the institution.

annoyinglittletwerp on August 30, 2013 at 9:19 AM

libfreeordie on August 30, 2013 at 9:17 AM

If the Good Lord made Adam and Steve, first, instead of Adam and Eve…we wouldn’t be here.

marriage = one man and one woman

kingsjester on August 30, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Well..I *would* be worried about this…but

As a private Contractor having worked with the VA, …I’m not concerned with them giving ANY vets ANY benefits anytime soon.

a5minmajor on August 30, 2013 at 9:22 AM

Time for a national divorce. Lets watch the freaks and degenerates of the left try and make it on their own.

Flange on August 30, 2013 at 9:23 AM

They can, its called getting married…..

libfreeordie on August 30, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Marriage= One man and One woman. No matter what the law says. If we embrace sodomy as a normal relationship, I see no reason why two indiviuduals who live together can’t get the same benefit of the law. For that matter who the hell are you to penalize a man for the love he has for his goat?

I’m being deliberately comabative because it is Friday and you’re an effing moron.

Happy Nomad on August 30, 2013 at 9:25 AM

I’m being deliberately comabative because it is Friday and you’re an effing moron.

Happy Nomad on August 30, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Stating the obvious.

chewmeister on August 30, 2013 at 9:34 AM

That picture? Gross.

Ward Cleaver on August 30, 2013 at 10:00 AM

In the majority of states in the union, the state constitution forbids recognizing same-sex marriage.

And the federal government is acting like it’s been universally accepted. In effect, the federal government is already requiring same-sex marriages be recognized at the federal level. In the military right now, two men or two women are authorized to take up to 10 days leave to go travel to a state that allows same-sex marriage and get “married.”

It is clear more and more every day that everyone who pretended this was about equality was lying or deluded. Regardless of the fact that there is absolutely no federal statute establishing same-sex marriage, it’s being treated as settled.

This confirms what I’ve been saying all along. The push for same-sex marriage was always about being able to use government force against those who reject the idea.

There Goes the Neighborhood on August 30, 2013 at 10:08 AM

BREAKING:

Judge orders all Americans to accept homosexuality; failure to comply is a Class 1 felony.

BobMbx on August 30, 2013 at 8:56 AM

I’m OK with that. As long as they’re lesbian… and hot. And “accept” means “watch”.
.
.
.
.
.
O.o Did I say type that out loud?

/s (just in case it’s needed for those slow on the uptake)

GWB on August 30, 2013 at 10:13 AM

It looks to me as if Obama’s re-election signaled the not so obvious evil left to come completely out of the closet; the complicit GOP game with amnesty, not defunding Obamacare,judges making morally corrupt law, open blasphemy with politicians no longer afraid and praying for the slaughter of God’s precious innocents in the heartland, Obama’s moving against the constitution taking guns without fearing impeachment, McCain no longer pretending to be conservative, Notre Dame funding illegals without fear of the friendly USCCB etc., etc.

Don L on August 30, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Judge orders all Americans to accept homosexuality; failure to comply is a Class 1 felony.

BobMbx on August 30, 2013 at 8:56 AM

I guess I am heading to jail then. People can lead whatever life they want but that doesn’t mean I will accept sin as anything else than sin.

chemman on August 30, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Um, would a country with good social and moral fabric have ever voted for Obama?

astonerii on August 30, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Exactly

chemman on August 30, 2013 at 10:46 AM

That will fix the backlog.

(um, oops. I didn’t mean it that way. srsly)

cptacek on August 30, 2013 at 10:46 AM

I knew libdie’d show up on this one.

Lanceman on August 30, 2013 at 11:05 AM

That’s good news for the Navy.

CrustyB on August 30, 2013 at 11:07 AM

I’m being deliberately comabative because it is Friday and you’re an effing moron.

Happy Nomad on August 30, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Stating the obvious.

chewmeister on August 30, 2013 at 9:34 AM

That’s MY job, citizen.

I don’t understand the headline. Might as well read:
Judge orders VA to provide benefits to veterans with pet unicorns

CapnObvious on August 30, 2013 at 11:16 AM

This is NOT what the supreme court actually ruled. What we now have are run-away limited mentality judges and useless government officials wrighting their own new laws.

While no one in the federal government that lives with the boot of the dictator Obama on their throat will dare challenge him, individual people must stand up to these bullies!

When these rulings come to your ‘door’, you must fight them in every manner possible.

Freddy on August 30, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Sodom and Gomorrah…

crosshugger on August 30, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Breaking – America is all gey.

World, you got what you cheered for, fools.

Schadenfreude on August 30, 2013 at 1:24 PM

For that matter who the hell are you to penalize a man for the love he has for his goat?
Happy Nomad on August 30, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Congrats for seeing the undeniable similarity between two rational sapient beings and a lower animal unable to consent or reason. Where would we be without people like you willing to reduce the human to the animal and claiming to see no natural or moral distinction between the two.

dieudonne on August 30, 2013 at 1:35 PM

dieudonne on August 30, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Where would we be without people like you, who can’t see the difference between proper and perverted, nor a moral distinction between the two? (Nor the difference between a period and a question mark.)

GWB on August 30, 2013 at 2:48 PM