Gov't refuses to OK health coverage for gay worker's wife, says judge's order is 'nonbinding'

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December 18, 2009


"The U.S. Office of Personnel Management still thinks it can't authorize health care coverage for the same-sex spouse of a federal court employee even though a judge has ordered the agency to do, a government lawyer said Friday.

"...Golinski's lawyer, Jennifer Pizer of the gay rights group Lambda Legal, disagreed that Kozinski's determination was any less authoritative because it arose out of an employee benefits dispute.

"'The question we have for OPM and DOJ is, are you really saying that employees of these federal agencies have greater authority, a greater capacity to interpret the requirements of federal law than a dully appointed...judge who is also the chief judge of the circuit?' Pizer said."