OPM: More Information Forthcoming on DOMA Decision

By on June 27, 2013 in Current Events with 0 Comments

A recent memo issued by Elaine Kaplan, OPM’s acting director, said the following:

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) provided that, when used in a Federal law, the term “marriage” would mean only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and that the term “spouse” referred only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife. Because of DOMA, the Federal government has been prohibited from recognizing the legal marriages of same-sex couples for purposes of numerous Federal benefits programs.

On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional. There are numerous benefits that are affected by the Supreme Court’s decision, and it is impossible for us to answer today every question that may arise regarding today’s ruling. Nevertheless, I want to assure you that the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is committed to implementing the Court’s ruling promptly, and will work with the Department of Justice and other agencies to review the various Federal benefits policies and procedures that will be affected by the decision.

OPM will be issuing additional information covering a broader range of issues in the coming days. In the meantime, questions regarding the effect of the Supreme Court’s DOMA decision on Federal employee and annuitant benefits should be directed to OPM through your agency Chief Human Capital Officer.

We appreciate your cooperation in our effort to implement the Supreme Court’s decision, and provide greater equality to Federal employees and annuitants regardless of their sexual orientation.

© 2016 Ian Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ian Smith.

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce. Ian also has a background in web development and does the technical work for the FedSmith.com web site and its sibling sites.

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