September 26, 2012
Today, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is going to hear arguments in the case of Edith Windsor. Windsor, an 83-year-old woman, says the Defense of Marriage Act discriminates against gay couples and is also in violation of the United States Constitution. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Windsor by the American Civil Liberties Union in federal court in New York*. In June, a federal district judge in new York ruled for Windsor. The judge found the act indeed does discriminate against married same-sex couples. The Obama Administration said last year that it would not support such law and deemed it unconstitutional. A group appointed by the Republicans is defending this law all across the country instead. This same group appealed Windsor’s lawsuit to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In response, Windsor has asked the Supreme Court to review her case before the 2nd Circuit reaches a decision
But what does the Defense of Marriage Act actually say? It basically says that the federal government will only recognize marriage between a man and a woman. This article definitely relates to Constitutional Law. Edith married Thea Clara Spyer in Toronto in 2007. Spyer unfortunately died in 2009 after losing her battle to multiple sclerosis and left her property to Windsor. However, since their marriage was not recognized under federal law, Windsor had no choice but to pay more than $360,000 in federal taxes for the property. If she were married to a man, she would not have had to pay those taxes. In her case, Edith’s attorneys argue that the act violates the 14th amendment of the Constitution.
I chose this article mainly because I am gay myself, and, naturally, gay rights would be important to me. It