Partner of Former Openly Gay Congressman Gerry Studds Denied Spousal Benefits
WEST HOLLYWOOD–LAWFUEL – Law News Network –West Hollywood City Councilmember Jeffrey Prang publicly condemned the federal policy that denied pension benefits to the husband of former Congressman Gerry Studds (D-MA).
Councilmember Prang said, “It is an outrage that the only three conditions in which the pension of a Member of Congress can be denied are treason, espionage, and having a same-sex spouse. This is a very dark spot on America that a group of loyal citizens can be categorized with the very worst among us. This policy must not stand and must be repealed.”
Rep. Gerry Studds was the first openly-gay member of Congress. He married his partner in Massachusetts when that state legalized same-sex marriages in 2004. Rep. Studds died last week, but the federal government will not pay pension or death benefits to his spouse because the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act prohibits the federal government from recognizing such relationships.