The court’s ruling said: “The history of DOMA’s enactment and its own text demonstrate that interference with the equal dignity of same-sex marriages, a dignity conferred by the States in the exercise of their sovereign power, was more than an incidental effect of the federal statute. It was its essence.”
The justices ruled in favor of Edith “Edie” Windsor, who sued the federal government for failing to recognize her marriage to her partner Thea Spyer after Spyer’s death. Windsor and Spyer met in the early 1960s. Spyer was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1977, and
“DOMA violated the fundamentally American principles of fairness and equality,” said
“This historic ruling recognizes how unfair it is to treat married lesbian and gay couples as though they’re legal strangers,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project. “Edie and Thea were there for each other in sickness and in health like any other married couple. It’s only right for the federal government to recognize their marriage and the life they built together.”
“This is truly a day for the history books, one that will be marked by future generations as a giant step forward along our nation’s continuing path towards equality,” said Roberta Kaplan of Paul, Weiss, who argued
“Today, the Supreme Court reinforced its commitment to the promise of ‘Equal Justice Under Law.’ This is a great day, and a reminder that when individual citizens like Edie Windsor have the courage to stand up for their rights, they can achieve fundamental change,” said Pamela Karlan, co-director of the Stanford Law School Supreme Court Litigation Clinic.
“This is a great day for equality and the beginning of the end of official discrimination against people who are lesbian and gay,” said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. “We are delighted for Edie and for families across the country.”
Both a federal district court and a federal appeals court ruled in
More on this case can be found at: www.aclu.org/edie
The decision can be found at: www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights/windsor-v-united-states-supreme-court-decision
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional:
"Today is a historic day for our country on its long march towards upholding the fundamental values this country was founded upon of fairness, equality and justice. I am overjoyed the Supreme Court has ruled to end the discrimination that had been enshrined into U.S. law.
"Marriage is the true foundation for strong families. Every loving, committed couple deserves the basic human right to get married, start a family, and be treated equally under the law. No politician from this day forward should try to stand in the way of this fact.
"Now that the Supreme Court has ruled DOMA is unconstitutional, Congress must do its job and get this corrosive law off the books so there is certainty for all loving committed couples across state lines. I promise to work hard to pass the Respect for Marriage Act and finally put the discriminatory DOMA policy into the dustbin of history where it belongs."
Senator Gillibrand, who helped lead the effort in the Senate to repeal "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell," was an original co-sponsor and leading advocate for the Respect for Marriage Act.
Rep. Dan Maffei (D-NY), made the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act:
"I am very pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. All Americans deserve equal protection under the law. I was proud to sign the amicus brief in support of overturning this discriminatory, unconstitutional law. As Central York’s Representative in Congress, I will continue to do everything I can to respect, uphold, and protect the rights of Central New Yorkers and all Americans as guaranteed by our Constitution."
New York A.G. Eric Schneiderman: Today’s DOMA Decision Is A Historic Victory For Equal Justice Under The Law
“The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act is a historic victory for the quintessentially American principle of equal justice under the law,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said. “Gay and lesbian Americans and their families have not only gained legal rights; but shed the unjust stigma that comes with being victims of legally sanctioned discrimination. Our nation has moved one step closer to fulfilling our founding ideals, and I am proud that
The case was brought by
A federal district court in
In the States’ brief, Attorney General Schneiderman argued that in rejecting same-sex marriages, Section 3 of DOMA violates the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, and must therefore be invalidated. He argued that the statute improperly intrudes on the traditional role of states in regulating marriage and domestic relations generally; that it consequently must be subjected to skeptical scrutiny; and that it fails any level of scrutiny because it does not rationally advance any legitimate federal interest.
In a separate case affecting the marriage rights of same sex couples, Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Supreme Court dismissed the case for lack of standing, and did not rule on the merits of the case. That case concerned a
“It appears that Proposition 8 is dead and millions of Californians will once again enjoy the rights and responsibilities of marriage equality,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “While we did not win the fight to overturn state bans on gay marriage today, I am confident the day will come when gay and lesbian couples will enjoy equality under the law in every state in our union.”
The brief in the case of United States v. Windsor was prepared by New York Solicitor General Barbara D. Underwood, Deputy Solicitor General Cecelia C. Chang, and Assistant Solicitors General Andrew W. Amend and Mark H. Shawhan, as well as Massachusetts Assistant Attorneys General Maura T. Healey, Jonathan B. Miller, and Joshua D. Jacobson.
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner Reacts to Major Supreme Court Decisions on Marriage Equality
Miner: Hope Will Never Be Silent, Today We Saw Hope Scream
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Mayor Stephanie A. Miner issued the following statement regarding today’s Supreme Court decisions on marriage equality.
"Harvey Milk once said hope will never be silent. Today we saw hope scream. The Supreme Court’s decision today gives families in Syracuse, across New York, and across the country the legal legitimacy to match their love and devotion. It is a victory we can all celebrate and one I take to heart. Since taking office, I have been a staunch supporter of marriage equality. I joined the Mayors for Freedom to Marry coalition. In July 2011, I proudly opened City Hall to perform same sex marriages the first day I could. The fight for LGBT equality is important to all Americans. It is not yet over but it is an honor to stand with our brothers and sisters honoring this achievement today."
Mayor Miner will attend a Marriage Equality rally tonight at First Lutheran Church at 501 James Street at 5:30 Pm.