OAKLAND (AP) –A federal judge has issued a favorable ruling for gay-rights advocates involving state employees and long-term health care.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken of Oakland ruled that state employees in California can sue for discrimination over the federal government’s exclusion of their same-sex spouses from a long-term health care program.

In issuing the ruling Tuesday, the judge turned down an Obama administration request to dismiss the suit.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported the suit was filed over the California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s refusal to enroll the spouses in a federally approved long-term care plan.

The agency said it does not sign up same-sex spouses because the Defense of Marriage Act denies federal tax benefits to any state that covers them.


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