FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2013
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES SUPREME COURT RULINGS ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, June 30, 2013.
“Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“Later today, tens of thousands of people are expected to throng Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue for the annual Gay Pride March. This year, the marchers – and all New Yorkers who believe in equality under the law for every American – have something special to celebrate: Wednesday’s historic decision by the U.S. Supreme Court ending a policy of Federal discrimination against legally married couples of the same sex.
“The case the Justices decided originated here in New York City. It involved Edith Windsor, who in 2007 was finally able, by going to Canada, to legally marry a woman with whom she’d shared her life for decades. When her spouse passed away, however, Federal law didn’t allow the Internal Revenue Service to treat her in the same way that it would a surviving spouse of the opposite sex. Instead, the misleadingly named ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ required the IRS to impose a crushing $360,000 estate tax bill on Edie Windsor – a tax on the very property that she and her spouse had shared in their lives together.
“From the Minutemen at Concord to the Freedom Riders of the Civil Rights era, the progress of liberty in America has been advanced by people with the courage to stand up for their rights. Edie Windsor is one of those people, too. She went to court to challenge the clearly unfair way she was being treated. And when her case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, our Administration was proud to join City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in arguing for her cause as ‘friends of the court.’ We called it a matter of simple justice: That Federal law shouldn’t discriminate against the ever-growing number of legally married same-sex couples in our city, and elsewhere. On Wednesday, the Court agreed, and struck down provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act it said violated one of the basic principles of our Constitution: Equal protection under the law.
“That decision, along with another on the same day invalidating an anti-marriage equality measure in California, were major legal landmarks on the road to full marriage equality in our nation. We’ve already come a long way on that path; 12 states and the District of Columbia now protect marriage equality. That includes New York State, which two years ago passed a marriage equality law – a law that, along with many others, I worked hard to bring about. New York City has long been in the vanguard of equality for same-sex couples; now the rest of the nation is rapidly catching up.
“We can do that because the framers of our Constitution laid down a foundation for creating ‘a more perfect union.’ And over the centuries, Americans have built on that foundation by ending slavery, extending to women the right to vote, and continuing to remove other barriers to equality under the law. Last week, our union became more perfect still, for us all. So it’s particularly fitting that one of the grand marshals of today’s march will be a New Yorker whose determination to stand up for what’s right helped make that so: Edie Windsor.
“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening.”
Marc LaVorgna (212) 788-2958
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