Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn today announced they will file a joint amicus brief in support of Edie Windsor’s constitutional challenge to the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Edie Windsor sued the federal government after being made to pay $363,000 in estate taxes on her late wife’s estate because the government did not recognize Edie’s marriage to her partner of over 40 years, Thea Spyer. Under the tax rules applied to heterosexual couples, spouses do not have to pay estate taxes.
“We believe that DOMA is unconstitutional because it deprives married gay New Yorkers of equal protection of the laws, and we are filing a brief to support the case against it,” said Mayor Bloomberg.
“Edie Windsor’s case is a tragic reminder of the work that still needs to be done to extend equality to all people,” said Speaker Quinn. “As Courts across the country continue to strike down DOMA’s unconstitutional assault on our civil liberties, I’m proud to join Mayor Bloomberg and the chorus of voices that have called to repeal DOMA once and for all.”
The friend-of-the-court papers will support Edie Winsdor’s claim – and the holding by United States District Court – that the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.