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Tue Jan 8, 2019, 07:13 PM

Supreme Court to decide whether retired Rapid City police officer can collect benefits from same-sex

Supreme Court to decide whether retired Rapid City police officer can collect benefits from same-sex spouse

PIERRE | After hearing oral arguments Tuesday, the South Dakota Supreme Court is set to decide whether a former Rapid City police officer is allowed to collect the survivor benefits of her late wife, whom she married soon after same-sex marriage became legal but after her spouse retired from the police force.

The lawyer representing the retired officer argued that the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage is retroactive and the couple would have been married at the time of retirement if the state allowed it. But a lawyer for the South Dakota Retirement System said a court canít retroactively create a marriage.

Debra Anderson, 64, worked as an officer with Rapid City Police Department for 25 years, according to a brief submitted by James Leach, her lawyer. Anderson met her wife, Deborah Cady, in 1986 and they lived together and considered themselves a married couple from 1988 until Cadyís death in 2017.

Anderson as well as the current and former chiefs of the police department previously testified that they were treated as a married couple by the police force, according to the brief.

Read more: https://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/supreme-court-to-decide-whether-retired-rapid-city-police-officer/article_940d5c14-35a8-5490-8f8d-29acc551516d.html

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