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Lawsuit Seeks Same-Sex Spousal Benefits

Monday, October 31, 2011 at 4:17 PM

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A Columbus native and captain in the United States Army Reserve is suing the federal government for spousal benefits. WKSU's Kabir Bhatia has more on the lawsuit.

Steve Snyder-Hill and Joshua Snyder-Hill were married in Washington, D.C., in May. Though the military has dropped its Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, it still does not give same-sex couples the same health care, housing, and bereavement benefits as heterosexual couples.

Joshua is working in finance in Columbus, and has health-care benefits through his work, but he says he and Steve had been concerned about other spousal benefits since before their wedding.

“When reality really hit me is, we were on Skype together, and a mortar went off.  I didn’t know what was going to happen now.  If something happened to Steven, how would I find out?  Would it be through his parents, would it be through the Army, would it be through Red Cross? And that’s probably one of the wake-up points for us when we really started talking about all of this.”

Hill has been in the Army for 18 years and is serving in the Middle East. He got national attention when he posed a question about repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell during a Republican presidential debate. The audience booed him.

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