Supreme Court Asked to Review Edie Windsor’s Challenge to “Defense of Marriage Act”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: 212-549-2666; media@aclu.org WASHINGTON – Edith “Edie” Windsor, who sued the government for failing to recognize her marriage to her late spouse, Thea Spyer, asked the U.S. Supreme Court today to hear her challenge to the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA). The petition for certiorari was filed on Windsor’s behalf by her attorneys at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, the American Civil Liberties Union, the New York Civil Liberties Union and the Stanford Law School Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. In June, a federal district judge in New York ruled in Windsor’s favor that section three of DOMA unconstitutionally discriminates against married same-sex couples. The Justice Department and the leadership of the House of Representatives recently asked the Supreme Court to hear DOMA challenges in two other cases, including a case, like Windsor’s, that is still pending in a federal appeals court. “With Edie’s case and the two others, the high court has before it striking illustrations of the many different harms that DOMA inflicts on many thousands of married same-sex couples all across the country,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. “Edie and Thea got married after making a life-long commitment to each other, and it’s just wrong for the government to pretend that they were legal strangers.”

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