SALEM -- A federal appellate judge has ruled that the judiciary must grant health care benefits to the same-sex spouse of a federal public defender.

Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Harry Pregerson says in a ruling filed Wednesday that the court's administrative office discriminated against Alison Tex Clark when it refused to add her spouse to Clark's benefit plan. The office cited the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages.

The judge ruled that Oregon's same-sex marriage ban and the federal Defense of Marriage Act are both unconstitutional. Lawyers say the ruling applies only to Clark because it's an internal administrative decision about a court employee.

Clark married Anna Campbell in Canada last June.

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