Lesbians Win Bid for Spousal Health Benefits

     (CN) – A lesbian who was denied the right to enroll her wife in a court employee health insurance program “has been and is being discriminated against based on her sex and sexual orientation,” 9th Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski ruled.

     “No statute authorizes this discrimination, even assuming one could,” he wrote.
     The chief judge ordered court administrators to enroll the unnamed employee’s wife in the court’s spousal insurance plan.
     The employee was also granted back pay equal to the benefits she would have received had her wife’s enrollment not been denied.
     “I authorize the employee to move for additional back pay … until she’s permitted to enroll her wife for the benefits afforded to an opposite-sex spouse of a court employee,” Kozinski wrote.
     He issued a separate order staying the first order as it “directs the employee’s designated insurer to take or refrain from taking action,” pending the petition for review in a similar case, In re Golinski.

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