DADT Repeal A Threat To DOMA?

Reason’s Julian Sanchez made a prediction on Twitter in light of Saturday’s repeal vote on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:

Prediction: DOMA lasts until the first spouse of a gay soldier killed in action gets denied survivor benefits

Sanchez refers, of course, to Section Three of the Defense of Marriage Act which defines marriage as only being between a man and a woman. That provision is already the subject of several Court challenges and has been declared unconstitutional by at least one Federal District Court. How long will it be before the widow of a gay servicemen killed in Afghanistan files a suit seeking their right to survivor benefits?

FILED UNDER: Gender Issues, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. sam says:

    “How long will it be before the widow of a gay servicemen killed in Afghanistan files a suit seeking their right to survivor benefits?”

    Not to be picky, but that should be ‘widow or widower’, right?

  2. Sam,

    Fair point although I guess I was trying to be gender neutral there.

  3. James Joyner says:

    My recollection of benefits is rusty and horridly dated. But we used to be able to specify who’d get our life insurance benefits, and I don’t think we were limited to spouses or parents. That’s by far the biggest death benefit, although there was a small payout for funeral expenses and the like.

  4. David says:

    I don’t think that is going to be the first test. The issue is going to hit as soon as a service marries a same sex partner and wants the quarters allowance at the with dependants level or wants one of the free houses on the installation.

  5. David says:

    Oops. Left out “member” after “service”. Sorry about that.