Thursday, 07 June 2012 22:29

DOMA Is Unconstitutional For Boston And New York Courts

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gavel

Recently, I wrote the federal appeals court in Boston was to make a decision relating to DOMA. The federal court thus ordered that the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, was unconstitutional. That's not the only court to make this decision. A few days ago, a federal judge in New York also regarded this law as unconstitutional.

First, in Boston, according to The New York Daily News, the court agreed with a lower court judge who ruled in 2010 that DOMA was flawed because it blocked the right of a state to define marriage. That judge also decreed that it was unconstitutional to deny gay married couples the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts, including to file joint tax returns.

Then, in New York, in an inheritance case in which the marriage of Edie Widsor and Thea Spyer was not recognized by the federal government because of DOMA, in spite of the fact that New York legalized gay marriage, (the federal government taxed the inheritance Thea left for Edie after she died in 2009, forcing the widow to pay more than $360,000), the judge thus considered this law unconstitutional.

It is not yet the end of the battle for Edie because the House of Representatives controlled by Republicans paid for a defense. As a result, Edie's lawyers said they expect the House of Representatives to appeal the decision.

"We are confident that it will be affirmed on appeal," said attorney Roberta A. Kaplan, "and we hope that the court will do so expeditiously given that our client is 83 years old.”

From now on, one waits so that the case of Boston, which focuses on how the federal government treats gay and lesbian couples married in their own states, could be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court next year.

"The dominoes continue to fall on DOMA," said HRC President Joe Solmonese in a statement. "The real question is when Speaker John Boehner (the current Speaker of the United States House of Representatives) will see the writing on the wall and stop wasting taxpayer dollars defending this outrageous law and instead work to repeal it."

 

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