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A legal advocacy group sued the federal government Tuesday, seeking benefits for 15 gay and lesbian Massachusetts residents who wed after the state legalized same-sex marriage.
The suit contends the federal Defense of Marriage Act denies them protections and benefits that heterosexual couples receive, including health insurance for federal employees, the ability to file as "married filing jointly" on federal income taxes and Social Security spousal protections.
Two other couples plan to file suit after they receive an anticipated rejection of their amended tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service, GLAD said.
President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law in 1996. It effectively bars the federal government from recognizing same-sex unions by defining marriage as "a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife" and a spouse as "a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife."