Main | Tuesday, November 09, 2010

ACLU Files DOMA Suit In New York

On the same day that GLAD has filed a DOMA suit in Connecticut, today the ACLU has filed a similar suit in New York state on behalf of a woman whose partner recently died after 44 years of their being together. The ACLU's case addresses the tax inequities inherent in DOMA. From their FAQs page about the suit:
On November 9, 2010, Edith “Edie” Windsor filed Windsor v. United States of America, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a federal law that defines marriage as a “legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.” Although Edie and her wife Thea Spyer were recognized as married in their home state of New York, DOMA bars the federal government from recognizing their marriage for estate tax purposes. Edie is represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, New York Civil Liberties Union, and the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.
The ACLU notes that their case is not about the right to marry.
If Edie wins her case, the federal government will have to respect her marriage and give her the same tax treatment it gives other surviving spouses. But she does not ask the court to recognize a federal right for same-sex couples to marry, and does not challenge other state laws or amendments excluding same-sex couples from marriage. Edie and Thea already were legally married, and their marriage is recognized in their home state of New York.

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