Benefits Fight Brings Lesbian Couple to High Court

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A San Francisco couple is waiting to find out if the U.S. Supreme Court will take their case challenging the 1996 law that prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.

Karen Golinski and Amy Cunninghis got married during the brief window in 2008 when gay and lesbian couples could tie the knot in California.

Golinski immediately tried to add her wife to her employer-sponsored health care plan. But because she is married to another woman and works for the U.S. government, her otherwise routine request was denied.

But a federal judge earlier this year ordered the government to process Golinski's application for benefits, ruling that the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court has a closed-door conference scheduled this week to review an appeal filed by Republican lawmakers in the case.