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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PR- 461-12
December 7, 2012

STATEMENTS OF MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND SPEAKER QUINN ON SUPREME COURT'S DECISION TO HEAR EDITH WINDSOR'S CHALLENGE TO THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF SECTION 3 OF THE FEDERAL DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT

Administration and Speaker Filed a Joint Amicus Brief in July to Support the Constitutional Challenge to DOMA

Statement of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg:

“The rights of men and women should not be dependent upon who they love and who they chose to spend their lives with. The Supreme Court’s decision to review the constitutionality of DOMA is the right decision and one that brings us another step closer to full marriage equality.  The history of our country is defined by the progress we have made expanding the definition of equality to all people, of all races and both sexes.  The Supreme Court Justices have often played a central role in these debates, and now they will have a chance to do so again.” 

Statement of City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn:

“I am pleased to learn that the Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to hear cases on marriage equality, including the Edie Windsor case involving the Defense of Marriage Act and the challenge to California’s Proposition 8.

“I am confident that the Court will reach the same conclusion as the Court of Appeals and affirm that Edie Windsor cannot be denied the right to have her marriage, or the securities that come with it, recognized by the federal government.  I am also confident that court will affirm the Ninth Circuit’s decision that Prop 8 violates the Equal Protection Clause.  I am inspired by Ms. Windsor’s tenacity and courage to continue this fight all the way to the Supreme Court, as well as all the participants in these cases who have worked so hard to change the discriminatory laws of the country.

“Until all same-sex couples have equal rights regardless of who they love, we will continue this fight.”

On October 18, 2012, the Second Circuit affirmed Edie Windsor’s constitutional challenge to the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) 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 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 (DOMA). A copy of the brief is available at www.nyc.gov.









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