Michael Bloomberg and Christine Quinn file amicus brief in Windsor’s DOMA case
July 27, 2012
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn have filed a brief on Wednesday asking the Supreme Court to review the constitutionality of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. They filed the brief as friends of the court, asking justices to take on Windsor v. United States, one of several lawsuits challenging DOMA. In June, U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Jones ruled in the case that DOMA's Section 3, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, is unconstitutional.
The case involves plaintiff Edith Windsor, a New York widow who paid more than $363,000 in federal estate tax after wife Thea Spyer passed away and left Windsor her estate in 2009.
The brief reads:
If Ms. Windsor's spouse had been a man, the marital exemption provided by federal law would have applied and she would not have owed any federal estate taxes at all. As a result of DOMA, thousands of legally married same-sex couples in the New York City are being subjected to this type of disparate treatment because their legal marriages are not recognized under federal law.
Though the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York already ruled that Windsor be refunded the $363,000 she paid in taxes, the push for the Supreme Court to hear Windsor's case and make a ruling on DOMA continues.
"We believe that DOMA is unconstitutional because it deprives married gay New Yorkers of equal protection of the laws," Mayor Bloomberg said. "And we are filing a brief to support the case against it."
The high-profile team initially announced they would file the brief challenging DOMA last month during Bloomberg's LGBT Pride Month reception in Manhattan. Freedom to Marry applauds Bloomberg and Quinn for using their voices to challenge DOMA and support individuals, like Windsor, who have been discriminated against because of DOMA.
Read all about the ongoing challenges to DOMA here.
And read about all of the briefs opposing DOMA:
- House Democratic Leader Pelosi & 131 others file amicus brief opposing DOMA
- Labor groups file amicus brief opposing Defense of Marriage Act
- Medical and psychological organizations file amicus brief in DOMA case
- Michael Bloomberg and Christine Quinn file amicus brief in Windsor's DOMA case