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Federal worker sues for same-sex spouse benefits

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal employee in California is suing the Obama administration to force it to provide health benefits to her same-sex spouse.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management told Karen Golinski that it was refusing to extend benefits to her wife because federal law prohibits the government from recognizing gay marriage.

The office made its decision over the objections of 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, who called the move illegal discrimination.

Golinski is a lawyer for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco.

The Office of Personnel Management says the Justice Department told it to ignore the judge's ruling because it went against the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in San Francisco federal court asks for an order to provide Golinski's spouse with health benefits afforded to spouses of federal employees.

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