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NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Joins Suit Challenging DOMA

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has filed briefs in the Edie Windsor lawsuit challenging the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Writes the AG's office in a press release:

Schneiderman Schneiderman filed the papers in federal court in support of the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment in the case of Windsor v. United States. The plaintiff, Edie Windsor, was married in Canada in 2007 to her partner, Thea Spyer, who died two years later.

Following Spyer’s death, the federal government refused to acknowledge the couple’s marriage under DOMA and taxed the resulting inheritance accordingly. Windsor then filed suit, challenging the constitutionality of DOMA and seeking a refund of the estate taxes she was forced to pay as a result of the federal government’s refusal to recognize her marriage.

In the amicus curiae brief, Schneiderman argues that in redefining the term marriage, Section 3 of DOMA violates the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, and must therefore be invalidated. He goes on to argue that the statute is an improper intrusion on the traditional role of states in defining marriage; that it discriminates based on sex and sexual orientation and therefore must be subjected to heightened scrutiny; and that DOMA fails any level of scrutiny because it does not advance any legitimate federal interest.

Said Schneiderman: “The federal Defense of Marriage Act clearly violates the principle of equal justice under law as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and improperly intrudes on the traditional role of states in defining marriage. The State of New York has long recognized out-of-state, same-sex marriages and the enactment of the Marriage Equality Act further cements our state’s position on this critical civil rights issue. My office will fight every day to defend the fundamental guarantee of equal protection under law for all New Yorkers.”

Read the Schneiderman brief HERE (PDF).

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  1. And this is why every bit of progress is important.

    Posted by: justme | Jul 26, 2011 1:00:55 PM

  2. Bravo, sir! And thank you!

    Posted by: K in VA | Jul 26, 2011 1:21:00 PM

  3. Cool

    Posted by: say what | Jul 26, 2011 1:45:32 PM

  4. Hopefully this ball will continue to roll and the US will get its act together. Seems like the good news has been outweighing the bad news lately. *knocks on wood*

    Posted by: Matt Deveaux | Jul 26, 2011 1:50:29 PM

  5. Knocking on wood with you Matt!

    Posted by: Janice | Jul 26, 2011 2:12:50 PM

  6. Proud to say I voted for him and Cuomo!

    Posted by: NY2.0 | Jul 26, 2011 3:24:08 PM

  7. It was my understanding that Canadian marriages are supposed to be recognized here as a treaty obligation, and as such, are held higher than regular laws. Anyone know if that's true? and if so, why that's not brought up in this case?

    Posted by: David R. | Jul 27, 2011 4:38:41 PM

  8. I like I have posted several times gay marriage is on its way nationally and the religious groups will loose....look at hx...religion looses as long as we keep up the fight....DOWN WITH DOMA!!!!!!!! Its great that he is supportive...yeahaw

    Posted by: wyocwboy62 | Jul 28, 2011 8:05:24 AM

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