Thursday, Sep 20, 2018
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 37 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 14, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 41
Vet sues feds for equal benefits, challenges DOMA
Section One
ALL STORIES
  next story
Vet sues feds for equal benefits, challenges DOMA

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A Lesbian navy veteran has filed suit against the Department of Veterans Affairs, saying she was wrongly denied extra disability benefits because of DOMA.

Carmen Cardona, a former sailor living in Norwich, Connecticut, has been receiving disability benefits for service-related injuries.

Now 45, she served in the Navy for 18 years, 12 on active duty and six in the reserves.

She received an honorable discharge in 2000 at the rank of petty officer second class, and went to work as a correctional officer for the State of Connecticut.

Same-sex marriage is legal in Connecticut, and last year Cardona married her partner. She then applied for increased benefits because she is married.

The Department of Veterans Affairs regional office in Hartford rejected her application, citing DOMA, which defines a spouse as 'a person of the opposite sex.'

'I was in disbelief when I was rejected,' Cardona told The New York Times. 'I served my country for so many years.'

Cardona's attorneys, from the Veterans Legal Services Clinic at Yale Law School, filed notice of her intention to appeal the department's decision on October 13.

The suit will be heard by the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, a special federal court in Washington that handles disputes over veterans' benefits.

Cardona's lawyers say they will argue that the government's definition violates her Fifth Amendment right to due process. The legal team says it will also challenge the constitutionality of DOMA.

Michael Allen, a professor of constitutional and veterans law at Stetson University College of Law in Florida, called the case part of a 'cultural legal shift' in which the expansion of same-sex marriage to more states and the end of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' have opened the door to challenges against federal rules on marriage.

'These challenges are bubbling up all over the place,' Professor Allen told The New York Times. 'With the recognition of same-sex marriage in New York, a big state, you'll see this more frequently.'

LGBT activists say they also expect lawsuits challenging the federal definition of marriage to be filed by active-duty troops in same-sex marriages who have been denied benefits granted to opposite-sex married couples, like military health care, housing, and commissary rights for spouses.

In February, President Obama directed the Department of Justice to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act against lawsuits challenging its constitutionality.

Cases before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims are generally argued by lawyers from the Department of Veterans Affairs, however, not the Justice Department, and some veterans lawyers said it is possible the department might try to chart a different legal course.

'If an appeal is filed, V.A. lawyers will analyze the legal arguments made by the appellant and respond appropriately in its briefs,' said V.A. spokesperson Josh Taylor.

Even if the V.A. chooses not to defend the laws against Ms. Cardona's challenge, it is also possible that lawyers hired by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), would defend DOMA in this case.

And even if no government lawyer defends the laws, the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims could still rule against Cardona. The court consists mainly of judges - most of them former military officers - appointed by President George W. Bush.

If Cardona loses her appeal, she can take her case to Circuit Court of Appeals and, ultimately, the Supreme Court.

'I just want to put it out to the public for people like me,' Cardona said. 'We worked hard for our country, we should be able to receive the same benefits as heterosexuals.'

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

West Seattle hate crime victims turn hate into help
------------------------------
Youth suicide prevention funds on WA state's chopping block
------------------------------
Gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny dies
------------------------------
Vet sues feds for equal benefits, challenges DOMA
------------------------------
A Celebration of Drag, Art and Life
------------------------------
Jared Polis (D-Colo.) becomes first Gay parent in Congress
------------------------------
Supremes deny Lambda Legal appeal in Louisiana adoption case
------------------------------
California's FAIR Education Act safe
Bigots' signature drive fails - no ballot in 2012

------------------------------
HUD pledges more help to end anti-LGBT discrimination in housing
------------------------------
GLAAD and allies speak out against anti-LGBT bullying on Spirit Day
------------------------------
Trans woman elected to Polish parliament
------------------------------
Historic military summit welcomes LGBT and straight military members
------------------------------
Katharine Lee Bates: Author of America the Beautiful
------------------------------
Brits warned about drug-resistant gonorrhea
------------------------------
Ask Michael: Friends as family
------------------------------
Is HIV Awareness Enough?
------------------------------
BREAKING NEWS
------------------------------
General Gayety: Unreal: The Haggards on reality TV
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
A Morning After That Turns Into a Dance of Discovery
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1605 12 Ave., Ste. 31
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2011

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News