April 8, 2010 at 4:51 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
Court date set in May for DOMA litigation

Mary Bonauto (photo courtesy glad.org)

A court date has been set May 6 for federal litigation aiming to overturn part of the Defense of Marriage Act that prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.

Acording to Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, which filed the lawsuit, the Federal District Court in Boston on that date will hear arguments in case of Gill v. Office of Personnel Management.

Representing seven married same-sex couples and three widowers seeking federal marriage benefits in Massachusetts will be Mary Bonauto’s, GLAD’s civil rights project director.

Six years ago, Bonauto was the lead attorney in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, the state lawsuit that brought same-sex marriage to Massachusetts, making the Bay State the first in the country to legalize gay nuptials.

GLAD contends as a result of DOMA, which passed Congress in 1996, plaintiffs have been harmed in various ways — including the denial of survivor benefits, health insurance coverage, Social Security benefits as well as the payment of additional federal income taxes.

If Gill v. OPM goes to the U.S. Supreme Court, the decision could result in justices overturning throughout the country the part of DOMA prohibiting federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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