Lesbian Army Vet Sues Feds After Wife Denied Military Benefits

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A U.S. Army veteran has filed a lawsuit against the federal government after her wife was denied military benefits.

Tracey Cooper-Harris, an Iraq War veteran who has served in the Army for 12 years, announced the lawsuit in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

The suit alleges Cooper-Harris — who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2010 — was denied an application for additional money and benefits after she received disability benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Cooper-Harris, a graduate of CSU Northridge, married her partner Maggie in 2008.

The couple’s lawsuit argues that a federal law and the Department of Veterans Affairs policy that requires the disparate treatment for same-sex couples are unconstitutional.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Steph

    ‘Additional money and benefits’…. that should be the end of it right there. Military or not, if someone, anyone, is already recieving some kind of benefits then that should be enough. Let us not get too greedy here ladies. And no, my comment has nothing to do with gay rights or the military.

  • Jen Byrne

    Steph…..what if they were only getting like $50/month…..how do you know how much is enough for someone else? Clearly, there was a policy that allowed others to get a certain amount, so why should they get they same amount as others….?

  • http://bifemlounge.com/2012/02/01/veterans-affairs-department-sued-over-same-sex-marriage-politico/ BiFemLounge.Com » Veterans Affairs Department sued over same-sex marriage – Politico

    […] CBS Local […]

  • Inis Magrath

    Steph: Your argument makes no sense.

    If all Iraq War veteran married couples are entitled to certain benefits, then ALL Iraq War veteran married couples should get that benefit. Period. Equal protection of the law is guaranteed to all Americans under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Go read it.

    Equal means equal. Not one set of rules for married couple A, and a different set of rules for married couple B.

  • Fellow Vet

    She’s asking for the SAME additional monies & benefits that other spouses of disabled veterans receive from the VA. Check out the Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents & Survivors for details.

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