President Obama Says Discriminatory ‘Defense of Marriage Act Is Unconstitutional

NEW YORK – In an historic show of support for equal treatment under the law, the Obama administration announced today that it will no longer defend the discriminatory “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) in court. In a statement, Attorney General Eric Holder said that President Obama has concluded that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional because it fails to meet the legal standard – “heightened scrutiny” – that applies when the government treats gay people and straight people differently.

One of the cases challenging DOMA was brought by Edith “Edie” Windsor, who shared her life with her late spouse, Thea Spyer, for 44 years. Click here to send your representative a message: Ditch DOMA!”The following can be attributed to James Esseks, Director of the ACLU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Project:

“Edie Windsor loved and cared for her spouse Thea Spyer for years, only to be treated like a total stranger after Thea’s death. We are delighted that the government acknowledges that it is completely unfair to pretend that Edie and Thea were not married and treat their marriage differently from married straight couples.”

The following can be attributed to Edith Windsor, lead plaintiff in the case Windsor v. United States:

“When I brought this case, I knew that the government would never be able to justify that I had to pay a $350,000 estate tax simply because I was married to a woman, rather than a man. There are not words to express my feelings today that President Obama and the Department of Justice have done the right thing by recognizing this fundamental principle that all people and all marriages are entitled to be treated equally under the United States Constitution. My only regret is that my beloved late spouse, Thea Spyer, isn’t here today to share in this historic moment. But in my heart, I feel that she knows.”

Click here for more information on the lawsuit.
View a video of Edie, sharing her story:

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