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House Democrats file anti-DOMA amicus brief

September 7, 2012

More than 140 House Democrats today filed an amicus brief against the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) to bolster litigation challenging the anti-marriage-equality law. Read more here.

The brief was filed in the case of Edith Schlain Windsor v. United States of America, which has reached the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit following a U.S. District Court ruling that a key section of DOMA is unconstitutional.

Edie Windsor, 83, challenged DOMA in court after the federal government taxed her more than $363,000 when her spouse, Thea Spyer, died in 2009. The couple had married in 2007 after more than 40 years together. When Spyer died, the federal government treated the spouses as strangers due to DOMA, greatly reducing Edie’s inheritance by depriving her of the marital deduction that otherwise allows a married couple to pass property to the surviving spouse without tax penalty.

The Obama administration announced last year that it would no longer defend DOMA, saying the law was unconstitutional. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) convened an advisory panel to direct the House General Counsel to defend DOMA in court.

Today brief’s addresses how DOMA undermines Congress’s legitimate interests, and says, in part:

It is impossible to believe that any legitimate federal interest is rationally served by depriving a widow like [Edie] Windsor of the marital deduction that allows married couples to pass property to the surviving spouse without penalty, thus maximizing the survivor’s financial well-being.

Read the full brief here.

Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey says:

Brick by brick, the wall of marriage discrimination is coming down. Yet certain members of Congress are doing whatever they can to buttress it. In defending the indefensible DOMA, they play with people’s lives, squander taxpayer dollars, and belittle our country’s deeply held values of freedom and fairness. It is heartening to see the many House members who have instead chosen to support fairness and families over divisiveness and discrimination by signing onto this amicus brief.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 7, 2012 9:35 pm

    I have also been discriminated by DOMA. Also a same sex marriage widower, I have been denied survivor’s benefits by the social security administration. My claim is now on appeal within the agency. Hopefully, the pending lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court will settle such matters for all of us. The episcopal church has made a video about my marriage. I encourage everyone to take a look at it – takes nine minutes:

  2. Homosexuality is Wrong permalink
    September 12, 2012 7:03 am

    Here’s the truth. The truth is that homosexuality and gay marriage are wrong. God is the authority. Such has been previously acknowledged, by law, that we are a nation which “Trusts In God”. And, God is love, and just, and righteous. Meaning…a just and pure God cannot and will not let “wrong (homosexuality)” go on forever, especially when a nation condones wrong. People are either for God, or against God. Ultimately, they either choose to believe in God, follow His Word, the Bible, and do right in His eyes; or they choose to not believe. Problem is, the evidence of God is so irrefutable that we are without excuse, when it comes to believing. We must not be deceived in believing homosexuality is right, when God teaches otherwise. Importantly, God doesn’t want any to not accept what is right, but unfortunately many will refuse to accept Him. As a nation, we need to have the courage to stand up for what is really “right”, as previous generations have done, and not be deceived. Know that people make their own choices, but also know that God is not mocked. Please read it for yourself, and follow what is truly right and just…Romans 1:26-27; 1 COR 6:9-11; Matthew 18:7; 1 John 4:16; Nahum 1:2-3; Zechariah 8:16-17; Psalms 33:5; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Jonah 3:10; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Romans 2:5-11; Romans 3:23-26; Galatians 6:7.

    • Dave Williams permalink
      September 13, 2012 7:03 pm

      If a religious group does not wish to have homosexual marriages in their church, then certainly the wishes of that religious group should be respected. If a homosexual couple wishes to marry, they should be able to do this before a state sanctioned official.

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