NY Attorney General files brief challenging DOMA
July 27, 2011
Two days after same-sex couples began legally marrying in New York, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and his staff wasted no time to call for an end to federal marriage discrimination. On Tuesday, Schneiderman submitted a brief challenging the Defense of Marriage Act, arguing that, “Without such equal treatment by the federal government, New York’s statutory commitment to marriage equality for all married couples will be substantially unrealized.”
While gay and lesbian couples are now afforded the same protections and security under New York state law, DOMA continues to deprive legally married same-sex couples of thousands of federal protections, including the ability to jointly file taxes, sponsor a foreign-born spouse, and receive spousal survivor benefits.
Schneiderman filed his brief in 82 year old Edith Windsor's case against the federal government, following their decision to collect estate taxes after her wife Thea passed away in 2009. The Windsor v. United States case was one of two cases that the Obama administration cited when deciding to no longer defend DOMA in court earlier this year.
Freedom to Marry applauds Attorney General Schneiderman's challenge to DOMA and joins him in calling on the federal government to stand with the majority of Americans who agree that it's time to bring an end to this archaic law.