Skip Header to Content
GLAD Logo GLAD Logo Skip Primary Navigation to Content
  • By Issue
  • By Location
  • By Type

Gill v. Office of Personnel Management



On June 26, 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled DOMA Section 3 unconstitutional in Windsor v. United States.

For complete details about this case, the plaintiffs,and all legal documents, visit

August 2, 2012 – GLAD filed a brief in response to the petitions for a writ of certiorari by the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

August 2, 2012—The Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund and the Attorney Generals of 15 states filed amici briefs in support of the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari by the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG).

July 3, 2012 – The Department of Justice filed a petition for certiorari in the United States Supreme Court.

June 29, 2012 – House Leadership via the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) filed a petition for certiorari in the United States Supreme Court.

May 31, 2012 – U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit unanimous ruling upholding District Court decision finding section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional

GLAD filed a petition for en banc review in the First Circuit on June 21, 2011.  On July 7, the Department of Justice joined our request for en banc review.

February 25, 2011 — Update: The Department of Justice followed Wednesday’s withdrawal from two DOMA cases in the Second Circuit, including GLAD’s Pedersen v. OPM  by notifying the clerk of the First Circuit that they will also “cease to defend” the two consolidated DOMA cases, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Massachusetts v. HHS.

October 12, 2010 — Update: The federal government filed notice it is appealing the July 8, 2010 U.S. District Court ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

July 8, 2010 — Update: U.S. District Court decision holds that DOMA violates the equal protection principles embodied in the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, July 8, 2010.

February 16, 2010 — Update: GLAD filed our Plaintiff’s Reply Memo in Support of our Motion for Summary Judgment, February 16, 2010.

January 29, 2010 — Update: The Government filed their opposition to our Motion for Summary Judgment on January 29, 2010.

November 17, 2009 — Update: On November 17, 2009, GLAD filed a motion in opposition to the government’s Motion to Dismiss, and filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in the case.

July 31, 2009 — Update: GLAD filed an amended complaint in the Gill suit on July 31, 2009.

July 8, 2009 — On July 8, 2009, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts filed suit challenging DOMA Sec 3.

June 31, 2009 — On May 27, 2009, as a result of GLAD’s legal challenge on behalf of Gill plaintiffs Keith and Al Toney,  the U.S. State Department announced a change in policy regarding the issuance of passports to people who have changed their name after marrying someone of the same sex, so that they may now receive a passport in their new name.  Keith applied for his new passport on June 22.

On March 3, 2009, GLAD filed the first concerted, multi-plaintiff legal challenge to Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Gill et al. v. Office of Personnel Management et al. targets the denial of certain federal rights and protections to married same-sex couples in Massachusetts.  GLAD lawsuits brought marriage equality to Massachusetts (2004) and Connecticut (2008), the only states where same-sex couples can currently legally marry.  This suit, filed today in federal District Court in Boston, addresses the use of DOMA Section 3 to deny spousal protections in Social Security, federal income tax, federal employees’ and retirees’ benefits, and in the issuance of passports.

Passed in 1996, DOMA Section 3, now codified at 1 U.S.C. section 7, limits the marriages the federal government will respect to those between a man and a woman.  Section 2 of DOMA, not at issue in this lawsuit, allows states to establish public policies about what marriages they will and will not respect.

GLAD argues that DOMA Section 3 violates the federal constitutional guarantee of equal protection as applied to federal income tax, Social Security, federal employees and retirees, and in the issuance of passports.  GLAD also contends that DOMA Section 3 is an unprecedented intrusion by the federal government into marriage law, always considered the province of the states.

The plaintiffs are eight married couples and three widowers, each of whom is currently eligible for a federal program.  Each has applied for a benefit under that program and was denied because of DOMA Section 3.