FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2012
STATEMENTS OF MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND SPEAKER QUINN ON COURT'S DECISION FINDING DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT UNCONSTITUTIONAL
Administration and Speaker Filed a Joint Amicus Brief in July to Support the Constitutional Challenge to DOMA
Statement of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg:
“Today’s decision affirms that DOMA deprives same sex couples of equal protection under the law. This ruling is an important step in ensuring the rights of men and women are not dependent upon who they love and who they chose to spend their lives with. We have much more to do, but we are another step further on the road to a more perfect union for all Americans.”
Statement of City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn:
“Today, we’re one step closer to striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. This morning’s ruling by the Second District Court affirms what those on the side of justice and equality have always known that DOMA is an indefensible assault on our civil liberties. Edie Windsor’s tenacity and courage throughout the fight to have her marriage, and the security and benefits that come with it, recognized by the Federal Government is an inspiration to us all. But it’s also a reminder of the road we have ahead until full equality is granted all people. I want to thank Robbie Kaplan, James Esseks and all those who have fought so hard for their tireless efforts on this important case.”
The Second Circuit today affirmed Edie Windsor’s constitutional challenge to the Federal Defense of Marriage Act and struck down section 3 – which defines marriage, for purposes of federal benefits, as only between a man and a woman – as unconstitutional. The Second Circuit has now ruled that that violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.
Edie Windsor sued the Federal government after being made to pay $363,000 in estate taxes on her late wife’s estate because the government did not recognize Edie’s marriage to her partner of over 40 years, Thea Spyer. Under the tax rules applied to heterosexual couples, spouses do not have to pay estate taxes.
Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn filed a joint amicus brief in July in support of Ms. Windsor's constitutional challenge to the Federal Defense of Marriage Act. A copy of the brief is available at www.nyc.gov.
Marc La Vorgna / Samantha Levine (212) 788-2958
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Download the brief (in PDF)
Download the second brief (in PDF)