Lawyer Sues Fed over Same-Sex Benefits

January 21, 2010 ( – The drama between a California attorney and the federal Office of Personnel Management continued this week with the filing of a lawsuit.

Karen Golinski filed a lawsuit against the OPM on Wednesday for refusing to provide benefits to her wife, the Associated Press reported. The agency said it won’t follow a court order to provide the benefits because it believes the order is in violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (see OPM Says It Won’t Follow Orders on Same-Sex Benefits).

Chief Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called OPM’s action illegal discrimination. Last November, Kozinski ordered OPM to provide health insurance coverage for Golinski’s wife, and to pay Golinski the cost of buying insurance since she first applied for coverage in September 2008 (see 9th Circuit Jurists in Standoff with Fed Agency).

The lawsuit filed Wednesday asks for another order to provide Golinski’s spouse with health benefits afforded to spouses of federal employees, according to the AP.